PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - May 13, 2021 


President Biden taps Tracy Stone-Manning to be director of Bureau of Land Management; and Colorado schools get new tools to help students distinguish between news, commentary and disinformation.


2021Talks - May 13, 2021 


Republicans oust Liz Cheney from her leadership role, Dr. Anthony Fauci urges more vaccinations, NAACP leaders voice support for voting rights legislation, and Nancy Pelosi is optimistic about the infrastructure bill.

IA County Auditors Still Processing Election Law Changes

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to www.newsservice.org
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

Iowa was among many states this year to see conservative lawmakers push for voting restrictions in light of last year's presidential election. (Adobe Stock)
Iowa was among many states this year to see conservative lawmakers push for voting restrictions in light of last year's presidential election. (Adobe Stock)
 By Mike Moen - Producer, Contact
April 20, 2021

DES MOINES, Iowa -- While they pore over the changes, Iowa's county auditors still have reservations about a new law that drastically alters several of the state's election procedures.

Gov. Kim Reynolds recently signed a bill pushed by Republicans which, among other things, reduces the early voting period from 29 days to 20 days. It also shortens the window for requesting absentee ballots.

Ryan Dokter, president of the Iowa State Association of County Auditors and Sioux County auditor, said any time there's a change, it can produce a challenge because you have to re-educate voters.

He also said the absentee provisions could put even more of a strain on election staffs.

"When you start shortening windows, that means we'll need more people to process the voters in an efficient manner," Dokter explained.

He noted there is concern about language threatening auditors with fines and jail time if they don't comply with the law. Generally, he explained, that is not something election officials willfully do.

The change was spurred by a handful of auditors last year sending out pre-filled absentee ballot request forms.

Supporters of the changes argued they are meant to restore integrity in the election system, but the law is being challenged in court by a Latino civil rights group, which calls the move unconstitutional.

Sue Lloyd, Buena Vista County auditor, said they will get the job done, but added it might be harder for smaller offices to deal with absentee demand, especially in a presidential election.

She questions the fairness of putting auditors in the spotlight over what some describe as a politically-motivated law.

"We're here to do our job regardless of whether we're Republican or Democrat," Lloyd asserted. "We're doing the best we can. We want fair elections. We want to help the voters as much as we can to make sure that they have their right to vote."

She is concerned about restrictions on drop boxes and satellite voting and how it will impact her county's operations.

Voters' rights groups also worried about limiting access to marginalized voters.

Despite his concerns, Dokter acknowledged there are a few provisions that might be helpful to offices, including closing the polls at 8:00 p.m. instead of 9:00 p.m. He stressed it helps because election workers tend to be older.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Best Practices