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State election officials warn Iowans of voter misinformation

State election officials warn Iowans of voter misinformation
State election officials warn Iowans of voter misinformation
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Less than six weeks out now and eLection officials are warning Iowans of misinformation floating around.

Call it misinformation or disinformation, state election officials say there's a target on voters' backs. Now they're focusing on stopping scammers in their tracks and slowing the spread of skepticism in the system.

Iowa Secretary of State, Paul Pate says, "its a fine line sometimes between misinformation and disinformation. Some[times] it's just maybe an honest mistake and other cases it's someone intentionally trying to confuse people or mislead them."

One Iowan's firsthand encounter with an out of state fraudster is now under investigation. A caller told that Mahaska County voter they could just register their absentee ballot over the phone and that there was no need to return it to the auditors office.

However, that's a lie. Knowing that's not something you can do in Iowa, the voter hung up and reported the incident.

This is an example of someone trying to provide disinformation because they're trying to clearly taint the process," says Pate.

Pate says they see similar situations from time to time. "Some of them are misleading in the sense they might give them the wrong polling location," explains Pate. "They might be telling them that it's too late to vote. Some of them maybe giving them false information about a candidate even."

He says much of the misinformation out there seeks to confuse voters and can sound pretty convincing. So its best to double check with your county auditor or the secretary of state's office to ensure you won't become a victim.

"Call us or they can call their county auditor and give them [what] the issue is or the question and give them the opportunity to either confirm its accurate or perhaps explain to them what the real facts are so that the voter is informed and ready to do what they need to do," says Pate.

As we get closer to the November election, officials are working around the clock to ensure ballots are secure and keep voters like you informed.

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"We use paper ballots here," Pate says. We are not hooked up to the internet. You've got poll workers which are your friends and neighbors who are working every single part of the election process. These are just some of the things we do to ensure you the integrity."

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