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SIOUX CITY -- Taking a step that state lawmakers required for a first time to boost trust in the Iowa voting process, Woodbury County election officials on Friday recounted by hand all the votes for one race in one precinct, and the results proved to be the same.

At noon Friday, Woodbury County Auditor Pat Gill and five poll workers gathered in the county courthouse to recount, by hand, the 524 ballots originally cast Tuesday at Precinct 23, the Inglesia Restauracion Canaann, 2925 Chicago Ave., in Sioux City.

For the first time, all 99 counties were required to conduct post-election audits, under the state's new election laws, which also include other ballot security measures. The Secretary of State's office selected one precinct per county at random to perform a hand count of ballots to make sure the results from the voting machines are accurate.

"It was designed to bolster confidence in the administration of elections in Iowa," Gill said.

In Woodbury County, a bi-partisan panel recounted the outcome of the gubernatorial contest, in which Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds was elected over Democrat Fred Hubbell.

"The count went very well and the whole process took less than an hour and half," Gill said.

"The results balanced and confirmed that Kim Reynolds received 255 votes, Fred Hubbell received 244 votes, Jake Porter received 14 votes and Gary Seiguarth received 3 votes. There 3 write-in votes, 1 over-vote and 4 under-votes."

Gill reported the post-election review board included one registered Republican, one registered Democrat and a third member registered as no party.

A series of election reforms approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2017 also included a requirement that voters present a photo ID, a verification of their signature for absentee ballots, the end of straight-party voting and a shortening of the early voting period from 40 to 29 days.

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County and education reporter

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