Culver sets meetings to discuss election

Emily Brink

After the controversy and confusion of the presidential election, Iowa Secretary of State Chet Culver and his team in the state elections division have organized meetings to discuss Iowa’s election practices.”Iowa has a reputation for running good elections, but anyone can make improvements,” said Bob Galbraith, deputy for Elections and Voter Registration Divisions. Galbraith said this is a good time to confront the topic of Iowa’s election practices while it has such a “high level of interest to the public.”Eric Bakker, executive officer for the Secretary of State office, also said although Iowa did not have any major problems in the November election, it is time to get public input.”It is always a good idea to evaluate,” he said.Meetings were planned for each of Iowa’s five congressional districts during January. The meetings provide a forum for the public to voice their opinions about Iowa’s current election practices, Bakker said.Two meetings have already taken place, and Galbraith said they went well. “The thing that stuck out the most was how civil the meetings were,” he said.Topics discussed at the meetings ranged from Iowa’s voting machines and ballots to the national electoral process, he said.The Secretary of State’s office will analyze all information gathered from the meetings and determine if recommendations should be made to the legislature, Galbraith said.While they have some suggestions to improve the process, ISU students said they don’t have any major concerns about it.”I think a uniform, electronic voting method would be much more reliable for Iowa voters,” said Justin Barrick, senior in computer engineering. Barrick said same-day registration in all counties would also improve the voting process in Iowa.Dave Holz, sophomore in genetics, said the Iowa ballot he used to vote in the November election was not a problem. “I thought that the ballots seemed to be pretty clear and were easy to understand,” he said.