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Officials say the local voting process is secure

Posted: Thu, Nov 1, 2018 5:06 PM

State of Iowa election officials say the vote you cast in November 6th's election will be safe—and Winneshiek County officials are echoing that comment.

Winneshiek County Auditor Ben Steines says there is a paper ballot used for every vote cast.  "None of our voting is connected to the Internet," says Steines.

The ballots that are cast get scanned and processed electronically, but the paper copies of ballots cast are saved in a vault for 22 months after the election, staying in possession of local officials.  The electronic results are then submitted to a website operated by the Secretary of State's Office.  Steines says if any questions did arise, the paper ballots could still be counted by hand to verify any totals.

On Election Day, poll workers will have laptops they will use to check registration information.  County IT Director Steve Smith says his department has just finished encrypting the laptops, so there are several layers of protection.

Another part of the election process has a post-election audit in one Winneshiek County precinct.  Those results from the manual recount are then compared to the computerized count to make sure the results are accurate.

In addition, numerous Winneshiek County staffers have gone through trainings about the voting process and vote security.  Steines says that helps to insure that there are no human mistakes in the handling of the voting results.