Friday, October 30, 2020

Letters about Election Sent to Congressional Delegation and to state Election Officials


Letters about a fair and safe election were sent by the signers below (IPN is among them) to both our congressional delegation and a similar letter was written to other election officials.  Those were sent approximately two weeks ago.  Additionally, a letter is going to be sent soon to the Des Moines Chief of Police and City Council, though they will be slightly different.  We received letters back from Senator Grassley and Rep. Cindy Axne.  They are shown below as well.


Dear Senator/ Rep.

We are a group of organizations and citizens concerned about the upcoming election in November.  In this time of COVID and social and political unrest it is vital that our election process is as inclusive as possible and protect the health of our citizens. We call on you to stand with us in insisting on the following:

Upcoming elections should not be delayed or postponed.

States should be provided with funds to have adequate number of safe, healthy voting venues and sufficient staff to allow for timely voting and no suppression of in-person or absentee voting.

The US Postal Service should be fully funded and staffed to be able to provide efficient, timely mail delivery to ensure ballots are not delayed.

All ballots should be counted in a timely manner and safe guarded to prevent fraud.

The winner of any election should not be announced until all ballots have been counted.

The media should not make predictions about election outcomes until all ballots have been counted.

Federal troops and agents should not be sent into states to quell nonviolent protest. Use of tear gas, flash bang canisters, rubber bullets, kettling and other similar methods should be prohibited. Police should protect all people’s right to nonviolently protest.

We encourage you to speak out in support of the above issues and to encourage candidates for office to also uphold them also.

Thank you for your time.



Patti McKee

Catholic Peace Ministry


Christine Sheller

Iowa Peace Network


Kathleen McQuillen

Middle East Peace Education Coalition


Eloise Cranke

Methodist Federation for Social Action


Maureen McCue

Physicians for Social Responsibility


Bob Brammer

Stop the Arms Race Political Action Committee (STAR*PAC)

From Senator Charles Grassley:

 October 22, 2020

 Dear Ms. McKee:

 \Thank you for your message about our democratic processes as we go into an election. Our longstanding tradition of free and fair elections is important for Americans’ confidence in their government and I share your concern that faith in our election not be undermined. In fact, I gave a speech on the Senate floor to that effect where I assured Iowans that their vote will count the same as always regardless of how they choose to vote:

I would like to reiterate several points I have made publicly at various times:

No one on either side of the election campaign should undermine confidence in the election and both sides must be prepared to accept the outcome even it goes the other way.

I do not believe the overheated claims that President Trump is planning some sort of undemocratic coup.

Regardless, presidents have no role in counting or rejecting ballots and the Constitution is clear that the President’s term ends at noon on January 20 when the winner of the election as certified by states and counted in Congress assumes office or continues in office in a new term.

Unlike other countries where leaders, once in office, control the means to secure power undemocratically, no U.S. president has such power.

President Trump has regularly expressed concerns about states changing their election systems to greatly expand mail-in voting, either by rapidly expanding the use of absentee ballots in states where their use has been more limited without ensuring proper safeguards or moving to mandatory, universal vote-by-mail system in which ballots would be mailed to every registered voter at their last known address whether requested or not. Any fair-minded individual can see how this has the potential to increase the risk of fraud if not done carefully. This risk should not be exaggerated nor completely denied.

When the president improperly suggested that his supporters test the safeguards by attempting to vote twice, many of those who claim that voter fraud is a myth became alarmed at the possibility of the president’s supporters voting twice. The fact is that voter fraud is difficult to detect before votes are a cast, almost impossible to trace after a vote has been cast because of the secret ballot, and is rarely investigated and prosecuted. So, it is important for the integrity of the ballot box that safeguards be in place on the front end so only eligible voters be allowed to vote and only once.

Iowa has a long history of a significant portion of our population voting absentee in every election. We have the infrastructure in place with experienced election officials and proper safeguards, including individual voter ID numbers. The Secretary of State with the Legislative Council have implemented a temporary change to Iowa law allowing absentee ballots to be counted starting the day before the election instead of on election day giving plenty of time to handle any increase in absentee voting. Iowa also uses First Class mail with an intelligent barcode so it is possible for county auditors to track ballots through the postal system and know when they were mailed. I am confident that Iowa’s election officials and postal employees will do an excellent job and that the election in Iowa will go smoothly. Iowans can vote with confidence.

Again, I agree that it is important for all Americans to accept the election results and that no one, including the president or his opponents, should suggest that our election will not be free and fair. That includes not spreading conspiracy theories that the Postal Service will not deliver ballots or suggesting that the election will be rigged. The President and former Vice President Biden should both be prepared to concede if they lose the election.

 Thank you again for sharing your concerns with me. Please keep in touch.




Chuck Grassley

United States Senate                                          


 From Rep. Cindy Axne:


October 23, 2020

Dear Ms. McKee,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and its implications for upcoming federal elections. As your representative, the health and safety of Iowans across the Third District is an issue I take extremely seriously. 

You may be pleased to know that I joined my colleagues in sending a letter to House and Senate leadership urging them to take the steps necessary to protect voters’ health and safety during the outbreak of COVID-19. That includes proposals like no-excuse early voting, voting by mail, and the funding necessary to implement changes that protect public health. I believe that confidence in our elections is the bedrock of our democracy, and I supported $400 million in election grant funding to help make sure all eligible voters can exercise their right to vote efficiently, safely, and securely.

I also co-sponsored and voted for the For The People Act, a sweeping package of voting rights, campaign finance, and government reform legislation. Every voter in Iowa deserves to have their voice heard, and I supported provisions in the For the People Act that encourage voting and make it easier to vote – like automatic registration, longer voting hours and more chances to vote early or by mail. I believe that strengthening voting rights also means combating voter suppression, which is why I supported the Voting Rights Advancement Act. The Voting Rights Advancement Act would restore and revise the Voting Rights Act to guard against efforts to suppress voter turnout – like using administrative tricks and complicated procedures to keep Americans from casting a ballot – and I’m proud to have co-sponsored and voted for this bill. 

I take our election security seriously, and I am committed to protecting Iowa’s elections. That’s why I voted with a majority of the House of Representatives to pass the Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act – legislation to strengthen our elections by creating election security standards – and the Safeguarding Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy (SHIELD) Act – legislation to increase the security and transparency of our elections. Everyday citizens in Iowa deserve to have confidence in their vote, and I believe these pieces of legislation are part of a comprehensive approach to securing our elections and strengthening our democracy.

Please know that I am committed to using my voice as a public official to ensure Iowans have accurate, up-to-date information from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) as we continue to monitor confirmed cases in Iowa.

Additional updates and answers to frequently asked questions are available on my website, including a comprehensive, frequently updated resource guide. If you have been laid off and need to apply for unemployment benefits, please visit my website or use the link here. If you are a small business owner in need of assistance, please also visit my website or click here.

Thank you again for contacting my office. Please keep in touch with any additional questions or comments by emailing me at If you would like to receive regular updates from me, please visit to sign up for my e-newsletter.



Cindy Axne

Member of Congress

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