DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) — Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate on Wednesday said the Abby Finkenauer for Congress campaign was the source of text messages with incorrect polling place information sent to Iowa voters.
The Black Hawk County Auditor says text messages directing voters to the wrong polling place were sent in error by a campaign.
Finkenauer won the Democratic primary for Iowa's 1st Congressional District Tuesday.
Pate said the campaign and its vendors cooperated with his office's investigation, and a corrective text message had been sent out to voters.
Pate said the investigation confirmed the erroneous messages were due to a data match error with the Finkenauer's campaign files, and were not malicious in nature.
“Moving forward, I also encourage candidates to include an attribution statement in all messages sent to voters. The inclusion of an attribution statement makes it easier for voters to contact a campaign if issues arise," Pate said in a news release.__________
Statement from Finkenauer campaign manager Joe Farrell on erroneous text messages:
"As part of our efforts to engage voters and increase participation in this election, our campaign sent out text messages on Monday reminding voters of election day and where they go to vote. When we heard that there might have been a problem with texts from our campaign, we took immediate action. We contacted our vendor to start investigating how this might have occurred and who may have been impacted. We then sent out a text asking voters to check their polling location with the Secretary of State's office and provided a link to the polling location finder.
"We then contacted the Secretary of State's office to let them know we were aware of an error and we're working with our vendor to investigate what might have gone wrong. Our understanding is that a few dozen people were sent inaccurate polling locations unintentionally.
"Our campaign never intended to misdirect any voter and we are deeply disturbed this happened. We apologize for the confusion this might have caused any voters. We hope the text with the link to the Secretary of State's website averted anyone from going to the wrong polling location. We are taking corrective steps to ensure this never happens again. We sincerely apologize for this error."