Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate announced his plans to run for reelection during speeches at Republican county conventions on Saturday. Pate is currently serving his second term as Secretary of State. He served his first term from 1995 to 1999.
The office oversees elections and functions as a service center for Iowa businesses. Pate announced his reelection bid at the Polk County Republican Convention in West Des Moines and followed that with visits to the Johnson County and Scott County GOP conventions.
“I returned to the Secretary of State’s Office in 2015 with a plan to make it easy to vote, but hard to cheat in Iowa. We have accomplished that goal, but our work is not done,” Secretary Pate said.
Pate asserts he has followed through on his campaign promises from 2014, which included:
- Instituting Voter ID in Iowa
- Making it easier to vote, with innovations such as online voter registration
- Creating an address confidentiality program for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault
- Expanding opportunities for overseas military members to cast their ballots
“One of the first things we worked on was creating Safe at Home, an address confidentiality program for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and stalking,” Pate said. “Now, hundreds of Iowans are safer and able to lead a more normal life thanks to this program. Many have been able to vote for the first time in several years.”
More than 70,000 Iowans utilized Iowa’s new online voter registration system when it launched in 2016. The online method, instituted by Pate and the Iowa Department of Transportation, makes registering to vote easier and more accessible than at any point in Iowa history.
“It’s important that those defending our freedoms overseas are easily able to cast their ballots back home, and we were able to extend the time to request special submarine absentee ballots to 120 days,” Pate said. “They have our back over there, so we need to make sure we’ve got their back when it comes to voting.”
Pate is also moving forward with improvements to the Secretary of State’s Business Services Division by instituting a Fast Track Filing system for new businesses. That is expected to launch in May.
“We want to offer service at the speed of business, not the speed of government. We’re getting closer, but we’re not done yet,” Pate asserted.
Iowa has achieved its highest active voter registration total in state history during Pate’s current tenure. The state is among the top six in the nation for both voter registration and voter participation.
Pate pledged he will continue to work to help every Iowan be a voter.
“Iowa is the greatest state in the country and I’ve been proud to call it my home since I was born,” Pate said. “My parents instilled in me the importance of public service when I was very young, and I’ve lived my life trying to meet and surpass their high standards of hard work, integrity, and giving back to the community,” he added.
Pate is a nationally recognized small business leader and a dedicated public servant. He is a former State Senator, Mayor of Cedar Rapids, President of the Iowa League of Cities and a Lieutenant and former Squadron Commander in the Iowa Civil Air Patrol. He currently serves as the Treasurer for the National Association of Secretaries of State. Pate and his wife Jane have three children and five grandchildren. They reside in Linn County.