“Revolving loan fund” is legislative double-speak for “unfunded mandate”

So the Iowa Secretary of Secretary of State and the Iowa House Majority want to modernize Iowa’s election system with ePollbooks. I agree with them – every county should have ePollbooks in every precinct so every Iowa voter has the same experience whether you reside in Adams County, Polk County, or Linn County.

The rub? The SoS and the House Majority do not want to pay for it. They want to loan Linn County money for the ePollbooks. Don’t loans have to be paid back? Of course they do! And by who? The taxpayers of Linn County; hence, I have said all along that the “revolving loan fund” is legislative double-speak for an “unfunded mandate”.

If I don’t “modernize” our precincts by buying ePollbooks, then every voter registering to vote on election day who cannot be checked with an ePollbook against an SoS provided Felon List has to vote a provisional ballot. And that provisional ballot will not be counted until it’s cleared the Felon List. In the November 2016 election, 510 voters voted provisionally. I’m guessing we will accumulate several thousand provisional ballots in the next general election if we do not have ePollbooks in every precinct.

I project Linn County’s start-up costs to implement HF516 to be at least $392K or greater – see attached spreadsheet for details.

I will be commenting on this topic in the future. -Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

Fiscal Impact of HF516.xls

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