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Wapello County Takes Multiple Measures to Avoid Voting Fraud

By Jefferson Tyler, Multimedia Journalist

OTTUMWA, IA (KYOU) – With the general election just a few months away, many people are worried about the security of their vote. Recent articles by the Washington Post have said voter fraud is rare, but the use of electronic voting machines that do not have backups, could threaten the well-being of the election. So we spoke to the woman in charge of the elections in Wapello County, to see what they are doing to safeguard your vote.

“We upload the results. At the County level. We do upload through the internet to the Iowa Secretary of State’s website,” said Kelly Spurgeon.

An article in the Washington Post, has warned that hackers could influence voter numbers sent through the internet. Some counties have voting machines that transmit the results by modem. But in Wapello County, they have a more secure way of protecting the vote.

“Our voting machines are locked up during the day. The election workers are the only ones who have a key. When they remove the polls, they remove the media card out of it that has the results on it. They deliver it to us in a sealed up envelope that they tape where the seal is on the envelope. They sign over the tape to make sure it isn’t tampered with when we get it,” said Wapello County Auditor Kelly Spurgeon.

Wapello County auditor Kelly Spurgeon says the County takes extra steps to make sure the results are right.

“We also send them a hard copy of the results after we canvas the count here in the County.”

There are however still holes in the system. The state of Iowa depends on voters who transfer from other states, to be honest about being registered in those states.

“The Secretary of State contacts that state and lets them know they are registered in Iowa. And then it would be up to Texas to remove them from their system.”

But if I lie to you and didn’t tell you that I was registered in Texas, there’s nothing you can really do can you, asked KYOU Reporter Jefferson Tyler. “Right,” responded Spurgeon.

Wapello County does a report every year, comparing other states information on voters, to their own. But not all states participate in the report. And the comparison may not happen until after all the votes are counted, and we have a new President.

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