My name is Barbara Parker and I am running for Woodbury County auditor. I am a patriot, a conservative, a lifelong resident of Woodbury County and a small business owner. I have many years of experience performing the functions of city clerk and as an elected public official. The wide variety of this government public service qualifies me uniquely to take the position.
Currently, I am a member of the Woodbury County Community and Planning Commission, as well as the Tax Review Board for Woodbury County.
The auditor’s job is an elected position and, in that respect, must be considered political, but I feel we need to keep the election office as nonpartisan as possible. I believe there is a need to enhance voter confidence in Woodbury County and to ensure election processes are above reproach. All citizens must feel confident when casting their ballots.
I have witnessed Pat Gill as auditor for 24 years and have always considered him fair and capable. But, lately, with the recent lawsuits, it seems as though this position has become partisan. COVID-19 concerns have been challenging to the 2020 elections, but the decision to only open one polling site was incredibly short sighted. Increased polling sites would have been a more appropriate action. CDC guidelines recommended maintaining the number of polling sites or increasing polling sites to encourage social distancing.
Then, the decision to send absentee ballot requests to every voter in Woodbury County also seemed particularly politically biased. The Secretary of State has mailed an absentee ballot form to registered voters in the state of Iowa. The Secretary of State also recommended that pre-filled ballots NOT be sent to households. Mr. Gill decided to take matters into his own hands, used voter’s private information and taxpayer resources to mail those ballot request forms. There was no need to spend one, single, red cent. The cost to taxpayers, the use of personal information, and the disregard of the directives of the Secretary of State can be construed as wasteful, risky, and politically calculated.
The result of the decisions made by Mr. Gill lead to the possibility of fraud and mishandling of ballots, voter confusion, and a muddled election process. Furthermore, an appeal to the lawsuit was filed. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled in favor of the GOP position to invalidate pre-filled ballot requests. This adds up to four judges handing down decisions against the actions of Mr. Gill. Then, the factor of timeliness needs to be considered - the voters whose request forms have been voided need notification to request a new ballot. Due to the legal actions, lawsuits and appeals, are deadlines for ballot requests and registrations going to be extended? Are election results going to be delayed, as well?
The actions of Pat Gill may be totally innocent, but when added up, they take on the appearance of partisan politics. As auditor, I will make sure that politics have no place in the auditor's office. It must be the most transparent, impartial office in the courthouse. As auditor, I will work towards a more conservative approach when utilizing taxpayer resources. I will work toward accuracy, transparency and efficiency of the office. And most importantly, I will fight for free and fair elections for every voter in Woodbury County. I will be an auditor that will protect your personal, private information and will treat your ballot and your right to vote with the utmost regard.
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