When have you ever paid over $200,000 for something and did not know what you were receiving in return? That is the amount Linn County taxpayers have paid to the Iowa Secretary of State for I-Voters Maintenance Fees since 2010. And my office just received a bill for another $29,000 for the current fiscal year.
The reason for this complaint is simple. I and my fellow Iowa county auditors have been told for years that Iowa’s voter registration system, i.e., I-Voters, is secure. Yet, over the years we have received little factual information that allows us to draw the conclusion that I-Voters is secure.
On February 11, 2015, Secretary of State Paul Pate named me to his Auditors’ Advisory Group, a bi-partisan group of county auditors. I said then, “I appreciate Secretary Pate reaching out to me to gather input regarding elections, I look forward to working with him over the next few years to come up with solutions that make sense for Iowa.” The Advisory Group has not been convened by the Secretary in over two years.
Some of my peers have advised me to not talk about our voter registration system, fearing the public will misinterpret the talk. How can I assure the voters of Linn County that I-Voters and their voter registration records are secure when I do not know what is going on with it?
For example, has I-Voters been subjected to a cyber security vulnerability assessment? Or a penetration test? And were the tests performed by third party, ethical hackers who are committed to ensuring the system is secure for the next election? And why did the Secretary’s staff cutoff Linn County’s access to I-Voters after I announced I was going to conduct a vulnerability assessment on the election systems physically residing in Linn County.
I don’t know what I don’t know. And I am not going to be “high” on something that I have been kept “in the dark on”, i.e., I-Voters.
I am doing everything I can to keep the elections systems that I am responsible for secure from bad actors. I am a former IT director and a technology project manager, and the current commissioner of elections, and I need to hear more from the Secretary than the words “trust me”.
Again, the reason for this complaint is simple. I do not know what is going on with I-Voters and I need to know, and I am entitled to know.
Joel D. Miller
Linn County Auditor & Commissioner of Elections
Pate names Miller to Auditors’ Advisory Group https://sos.iowa.gov/news/2015_02_11.html
Iowa will keep voter registration system for 2020 elections https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Iowa-will-keep-voter-registration-system-for-2020-14108004.php