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Letters to the Editor

HD55, let’s get it together

How will the absentee ballots counting problem be resolved for the folks in (Iowa House District) 55 — Decorah area — and what will that mean for voters throughout Iowa for the 2020 election?

We all know that more people are choosing to vote by absentee ballot, particularly for work-related reasons. Voters voting by absentee ballot need to be able to trust their ballots will actually be counted if timely returned. Herein lies the problem, as demonstrated by the HD 55 2018 election.

In HD 55 some uncounted ballots were missing the required postmarks, apparently because post offices don’t necessarily have to actually postmark the mail. But those Absentee Ballots did have a barcode that indicated the mailing information. A court ordered these ballots’ barcodes to be read.

Most of the uncounted absentee ballots were, in fact, timely mailed. However, the court did not order the ballots to be counted, indicating the legislature was the proper place to resolve the vote counting issue (Note: this barcode is not an official IMB- Intelligent Mail Barcode-as only 6 counties in Iowa actually have that. If Winneshiek County had had an IMB system in place, most likely none of this conversation would be taking place).

The county auditor and the state canvassing board certified the election before any of this happened, at a time when the total count was about 9 votes apart.

These entities don’t intend to re-look the matter. Even though the legislature is one party controlled, both parties owe it to the voters of Iowa to ensure these ballots are counted. The result will either confirm the “certified election” results are right or confirm the other candidate is actually the legitimate winner.

We need to know our elected officials are the “real winners” we voted for. We need to be able to trust in this. This is really an all Iowa problem.

What will our officials do to fix this before the next election?

Beverly Clark

Baxter

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