DES MOINES, IOWA (March 6, 2019) — Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate supports an Iowa House bill that would mandate all 99 counties utilize absentee ballot tracking from the US Postal Service. Bipartisan amendments were added to House File 608, including Secretary Pate’s suggestion that implementation take place prior to October 1, 2020. The full bill, as amended, was passed by the House State Government Committee on Tuesday.

“This situation needs to be addressed so that all absentee ballots mailed before the deadline are eligible to be counted,” Sec Pate said. “Currently, the Intelligent Mail barcode program is optional for county auditors. Seven counties utilized it during the 2018 elections. We need all 99 on board. I believe this is the best solution for Iowa voters.”

Sec Pate encourages the Iowa Legislature to pass House File 608 and hopes the bill will receive strong bipartisan support.

Using the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) program for absentee ballots became an option for county auditors under a law passed by the Iowa Legislature in 2016. The program is beneficial because the Postal Service does not apply postmarks on all absentee ballot envelopes. The IMb also increases the visibility of election mail.

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