#FactCheckFriday | Office of Iowa Secretary of State

From: Hall, Kevin <Kevin.Hall@sos.iowa.gov>
Sent: Friday, September 9, 2022 10:14 AM
Cc: Burhans, Heidi <Heidi.Burhans@sos.iowa.gov>
Subject: FactCheckFriday posts

Dear County Auditor,

To help us dispel misinformation and disinformation about Iowa’s elections, in addition to our #MythBustinMonday posts, we are adding a weekly #FactCheckFriday one. Here is today’s:

Caption: Today’s #FactCheckFriday debunks a claim that elections would be more secure with only hand counted results. For more information, visit sos.iowa.gov/electionsecurity

Graphic: Iowa’s+elections+are+conducted+on+paper+ballots+to+ensure+accurate+tabulation+on+Election+Day..png (1600×900)

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IowaSOS/status/1568244966241046530

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IASecretaryofState/posts/pfbid02ujz9kosW33QUsTgFgwEaDZpiGY591PGsoHUSnFUtAEWfpuFE2XicJukkmrGk9tW1l

Feel free to share on your pages.

Thanks. Have a great weekend! Go Cyclones. 😊

Kevin Hall – Communications Director

#MythBustinMonday| Office of Iowa Secretary of State

From: Hall, Kevin <Kevin.Hall@sos.iowa.gov>
Sent: Monday, September 12, 2022 10:15 AM
Cc: Burhans, Heidi <Heidi.Burhans@sos.iowa.gov>; Hicok, Wes <Wes.Hicok@sos.iowa.gov>
Subject: Today’s MythBustinMonday post

Dear County Auditor,

Here is this week’s #MythBustinMonday social media post, to dispel some of the election misinformation and disinformation out there. Please feel free to share these on your own pages. We plan to release one each Monday ahead of the November general election as well as a #FactCheckFriday one.

We’re also directing Iowans to the Election Security in Iowa page on our website: Election Security in Iowa

Here is a graphic you can utilize today: Mythbustin+Monday.png (1600×900)

Caption: On today’s #MythBustinMonday we’re taking a look at the steps to keep Iowa’s voter rolls clean. For more info, visit sos.iowa.gov/electionsecurity.

You can also share our social media posts:

Twitter post: https://twitter.com/IowaSOS/status/1569339008303366144

Facebook post: (17) Facebook

Linkedin: (8) Post | Feed | LinkedIn

Please let me know if you have questions or need more information.


Kevin Hall – Communications Director

Official “points” 6/21/2022 and direction 6/9/2022 | Office of Iowa Secretary of State

From: Widen, Molly <Molly.Hammer@sos.iowa.gov>

Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 10:57 AM
To: Widen, Molly
Subject: RE: Cast Vote Record

Good Morning Auditors, Deputies and Staff:

Thank you for your patience as our office learned more about this request. Our office would ask that you work with your County Attorney to respond to the requester.

Below are some points our office would encourage you to share with your County Attorney as they assist you in authoring your response:

  1. In Iowa, a “cast vote record” as it is defined by the requester is not generated in the course of conducting an election.
  2. Iowa’s election laws do not require the creation and preservation of a “cast vote record” as it is defined by the requester in the course of conducting an election.
  3. Iowa Code §50.12 makes it very clear that voted ballots, and therefore any report that contains information on how individual ballots were cast, are allowed to be opened and viewed “only for an official recount authorized by section 50.48, 50.49, or 50.50, for an election contest held pursuant to chapters 57 through 62, to conduct an audit pursuant to section 50.51, or to destroy the ballots pursuant to section 50.19.” An open records request filed pursuant to Iowa Code chapter 22 is not one of the reasons enumerated in Iowa Code §50.12 for which information related to individual ballots may be viewed.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.


Molly M. Widen

Legal Counsel

Office of the Iowa Secretary of State

Office: (515) 281-5864

Mobile: (515) 210-4634

Email: molly.widen

From: Widen, Molly [SOS]
Sent: Thursday, June 9, 2022 4:47 PM
To: Widen, Molly [SOS] <Molly.Hammer@sos.iowa.gov>
Subject: Cast Vote Record
Importance: High

Good Afternoon Auditors, Deputies and Staff:

It has come to my attention that many, if not all, of you have received an email requesting the “Cast Vote Record” for your County from the 2020 General Election.

Our office is reviewing this request, and will provide you with more information as soon as it is available.

While you await additional information, do not fulfill this alleged “sunshine request.”

If you have any additional questions, please reach out to me directly.


Molly M. Widen – Legal Counsel

Official reply | Ringgold County Auditor to Kathryn Heilesen

From: Amanda M. Waske <awaske@ringgoldcounty.us>
To: Kathryn Heilesen

Subject: Response to CVR Request

Ms. Heilesen:

On September 2, 2022, you e-mailed my office a Freedom of Information Act request for election information. The Freedom of Information Act provides a right for citizens to receive certain information from federal offices and/or agencies. Ringgold County is a county entity and is therefore not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

I will treat your request as a public records request under Iowa Code § 22.4.

The Iowa law does not require creation or preservation of the record of the electronic information you have defined it in your request. This electronic data is not a public record maintained by my office, and therefore is not subject to a public records request. My office generated a public statement of the totals of the votes cast in the 2020 election. I can provide that document to you and you can compare it to the voting totals reported by the Secretary of State for Ringgold County.

Further, Iowa Code §50.12 prohibits opening or otherwise viewing information on how individual ballots were cast, except in certain limited circumstances that do not apply to your request. This would include the disclosure of information or data that could be used to trace back and determine how individual ballots were cast. So even if the records you seek did exist, the County is statutorily prohibited from opening and disclosing them to you because this data would be considered confidential and not subject to a public records request.

For these reasons I cannot provide the electronic data you have requested. Let me know if you want a copy of the public statement I issued concerning the voting totals for the 2020 election.

Amanda Waske – Ringgold County Auditor

Request & Reply | Cheryl Tillman

From: Warfield, Matt
Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2022 4:40 PM
To: Cheryl Tillman <cheryl.tillmania>
Cc: Cheryl Tillman <cheryltillmania>
Subject: RE: Detailed request for Reports

Hi Cheryl,

Thank you for your request. Part I looks like a duplicate request of CVR as specified. As you’re aware, this information is embedded within confidential log files which renders the log files confidential. I’ve also attached the Linn County Resolution 2017-10-154 which addresses confidential information. I did look in the ES&S User Guide, page 37 which has to do with ballot layout design. Not sure where your reference is from but it doesn’t appear to be accurate. The reference you’re using may be for another state.

Part 2 – Ballot Manifest Reports (or Ballot Manifestos) are not part of the Iowa election system so those reports do not exist. The closest I can offer is the voter list report that includes vote method. However, that doesn’t break down absentee voting into mail, early, satellite, UOCAVA, HCF, Safe-at-Home, and Provisional. I do believe you already have that voter list report. Let me know if that is not the case.

With this being for educational purposes, what is the aim of the class and which institution? While these are not requests I’m able to fill, perhaps if I know what you’re looking for, I may be able to suggest something that works towards that aim.

Thanks again,

Deputy Commissioner of Elections
935 2ND St. SW | Cedar Rapids, IA 52404Ph: 319-892-5319 | Fax: 319-892-5359LinnCountyIowa.gov

From: Cheryl Tillman <cheryl.tillmania>
Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2022 3:38 PM
To: Warfield, Matt <Matt.Warfield>
Cc: Cheryl Tillman <cheryltillmania>
Subject: Detailed request for Reports

Hi Matt,

PART 1 – I am requesting a text, comma, or tab delimited file, or a text-based report, listing, in the sequence processed by the county, every ballot, its sequential ID, its timestamp, its method of voting (for example: in-person, mail-in, provisional, absentee, “other”, etc. – any and all ballots that were tabulated as part of the 2020 General Election), the specific votes contained for all races, and the batch ID and tabulator ID.

Should any fields not be available, please include the fields which are. To be clear, I am NOT requesting a summary report of votes, I am requesting a per-ballot report. This set of information is sometimes known as a “Cast Vote Record” (CVR), “ballot log”, or a “summary of ballots”.

If the data exists as multiple files or reports, for instance by batch or by precinct, you do not need to aggregate them, please send the individual files. I specifically do not want any information that identifies a specific voter, and I guarantee and stipulate that this information will not be used for that purpose.

A report of this type would have very likely already been created when Linn County audited their election results. If not, you can refer to the instructions outlined in the ES&S Electionware Volume V Results User’s Guide starting on page 37.

PART 2 – I am also requesting the Ballot Manifest Report (also known as the Tabulator Batch Report) for all ballots including the tabulation of the results of the Nov. 3, 2020 general election. This report should include the information that specifies the method by which each ballot was cast. (ie: in-person, by-mail, provisional, absentee, etc.)

I am hopeful that someone will be able to generate these reports. Since this request is for information that will be used for educational purposes, and is not intended for commercial use, I would like to also respectfully request that any fees be waived.

Ideally, I would like to receive the reports via electronic transmission.


Cheryl Tillman


Request & Reply | Timothy Carlson

From: Warfield, Matt

Sent: Monday, August 29, 2022 12:24 PM

To: trrunalot@yahoo.com

Subject: RE: Linn County 2020 Election Cast Vote Records Request

Hi Tim,

The information within your public records request is contained within the ballot scanner log files.  Much of the other information within the log files is sensitive to the secure operation of those scanners.  As such, these log files fall under Iowa Code 22.7(3)(50) pertaining to confidential records which are exempt from public records request.

Thank you,


Deputy Commissioner of Elections


935 2ND St. SW  |  Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Ph: 319-892-5319  |  Fax: 319-892-5359


—–Original Message—–

From: Tim <trrunalot@yahoo.com>

Sent: Monday, August 29, 2022 11:56 AM

To: Miller, Joel <Joel.Miller@linncountyiowa.gov>

Subject: Re: Linn County 2020 Election Cast Vote Records Request

Did I miss your response?  Thanks


> On Aug 22, 2022, at 1:33 PM, Timothy Carlson <trrunalot@yahoo.com> wrote:


> Pursuant to our state’s freedom of information law, please remit the Cast Vote Records for Linn County, Iowa from the 2020 General Election.  These records should include the following fields at a minimum:


> CVR Record #

> Timestamp

> Tabulator ID

> Municipality

> Precinct

> Batch ID

> Record ID

> Counting Group

> Session Type

> Ballot Type ID

> Paper Index

> Contest

> Candidate

> Undervotes

> Overvotes

> Mark Density


> Please let me know If you have any questions.  I appreciate your assistance with this.


> Best,


> Timothy L Carlson