DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate announced his plans to run for reelection during speeches at Republican county conventions on Saturday. Pate is currently serving his second term as Secretary of State. The office oversees elections and functions as a service center for Iowa businesses. Pate announced his reelection bid at the Polk County Republican Convention in West Des Moines, and followed that with visits to the Johnson County and Scott County GOP conventions.
“I returned to the Secretary of State’s Office in 2015 with a plan to make it easy to vote, but hard to cheat in Iowa. We have accomplished that goal, but our work is not done,” Secretary Pate said.
Pate has followed through on his campaign promises from 2014, which included:
- Instituting Voter ID in Iowa
- Making it easier to vote, with innovations such as online voter registration
- Creating an address confidentiality program for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault
- Expanding opportunities for overseas military members to cast their ballots
“One of the first things we worked on was creating Safe at Home, an address confidentiality program for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and stalking,” Secretary Pate said. “Now, hundreds of Iowans are safer and able to lead a more normal life thanks to this program. Many have been able to vote for the first time in several years.”
More than 70,000 Iowans utilized Iowa’s new online voter registration system when it launched in 2016. The online method, instituted by Secretary Pate and the Iowa Department of Transportation, makes registering to vote easier and more accessible than at any point in Iowa history.
“It’s important that those defending our freedoms overseas are easily able to cast their ballots back home, and we were able to extend the time to request special submarine absentee ballots to 120 days,” Secretary Pate said. “They have our back over there, so we need to make sure we’ve got their back when it comes to voting.”
Pate is also moving forward with improvements to the Secretary of State’s Business Services Division by instituting a Fast Track Filing system for new businesses. That is expected to launch in May.
“We want to offer service at the speed of business, not the speed of government. We’re getting closer, but we’re not done yet,” Secretary Pate said.
Iowa has achieved its highest active voter registration total in state history during Secretary Pate’s current tenure. The state is among the top six in the nation for both voter registration and voter participation. However, Secretary Pate pledges to not rest on those laurels, and will continue to work to help every Iowan be a voter.
“Iowa is the greatest state in the country and I’ve been proud to call it my home since I was born,” Pate said. “My parents instilled in me the importance of public service when I was very young, and I’ve lived my life trying to meet and surpass their high standards of hard work, integrity, and giving back to the community.”
Paul Pate is a nationally recognized small business leader and a dedicated public servant. He is a former State Senator, Mayor of Cedar Rapids, President of the Iowa League of Cities and a Lieutenant and former Squadron Commander in the Iowa Civil Air Patrol. Pate currently serves as the Treasurer for the National Association of Secretaries of State. Paul Pate and his wife Jane have three children and five grandchildren. They reside in Linn County.
DES MOINES — Secretary of State Paul Pate is launching a 99-county “Voter Ready” education effort to prepare Iowans for the soft rollout of the state’s voter identification law that goes into effect this year.
Already, 93 percent of Iowans eligible to vote are registered and 93 percent of them have driver’s licenses, which poll workers will begin asking voters to provide when they cast ballots. A U.S. passport, veterans and military ID, or a voter ID card issued by the Secretary of State Office also can be used as proof of identification.
The Secretary of State Office recently mailed 123,000 voter ID cards to eligible voters who were not included in a state Department of Transportation database of Iowans with driver’s licenses. The office received about 18,000 “return to sender” responses indicating those people have died or moved.
DES MOINES, Iowa — Secretary of State Paul Pate says the time for arguing the politics of a voter ID law are over and its time for Iowans to make sure they’re ready for the changes.
In 2017 the Iowa Legislature passed Pate’s voter ID legislation, requiring all Iowans to have a state-issued ID before they’re given a ballot on election day. For most Iowans that means showing a driver’s license. Those who don’t have licenses will be issued a voter ID card for free. Pate says 123,000 of those cards have already been mailed to Iowans who are registered to vote but aren’t in the Iowa DOT database.
While the law is now in effect Pate says Iowans will be given one year to adjust to the new law. “This is a soft roll out. So we want everyone to bring their ID to the polling place and to show it. However if you do not have your ID you’ll still be allowed to cast a regular ballot,” says Pate, “after signing an oath swearing to your identity.
OTTUMWA — Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said he’s spoken to more than 100 groups before upgrading security for election results. The goal, he said, was to be both secure and inclusive.
Pate was in Ottumwa Friday leading a “Voter Ready” roundtable discussion. Along with staff from his office, his local contact, Wapello County Auditor Kelly Spurgeon, was in the room.
Auditors control the election in each of the state’s 99 counties. They are overseen by the SOS.
“This is not the same system as … any other state,” said Pate.
This program, which includes asking for identification at the polls, will require upgraded notebook computers: Pate’s office has already distributed those to the 99 counties
OSKALOOSA — Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate visited Oskaloosa recently with a message: Be ready to vote.
This year is a soft roll-out of new voting requirements, Pate said, in order to inform as many people as possible and to give election officials the opportunity to fine-tune the system.
“We want people to understand it’s as simple as registering to vote, having an ID and voting. Those three basic steps,” he said. “Voter registration as you know it has not changed a bit. It’s still the same. People get mixed up. We’re not changing voter registration.”
Pate particularly emphasized the need for college and university students to be prepared before hitting the polls. And to prepare early.
William Penn University Director of Athletics and Student Life Nik Rule said many Penn students are from out of state and have out of state driver’s licenses and asked whether students would have any stumbling blocks with registration.