The View From Here

By: 
Dennis Guth

Last week the governor announced a new website to give Iowans better access to testing and give public health officials a better idea of how Iowa is progressing through the pandemic. It helps the governor make decisions on the activities safe to reopen, while keeping others closed. I would encourage everyone to take the assessment at TestIowa.com and determine whether you should get tested. Iowa has purchased hundreds of thousands of coronavirus tests, and those tests will be available soon. This website has the best collection of information on where additional testing is necessary in our state to help make the best decisions for our state.

The Iowa Legislature continues to plan its work to complete the 2020 legislative session. A number of policy and budgetary matters still need to be addressed this year. When the legislature reconvenes, it will continue to be mindful of guidelines for the large group gatherings from the CDC and the Iowa Department of Public Health, making sure to do its part to manage the spread of the virus.

I have been very busy planting my crops so when the legislative session is reconvened, I will be ready to put my entire focus on the budget and the function of government in preserving our God-given, inalienable rights. One of the concerns we face is how to safely hold elections without putting people at risk.

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by a dedicated poll worker with concerns on how we would be running the primary elections in June. He shared with me that many poll workers are over the age of sixty, the age group more susceptible to COVID-19. I forwarded that email to the Secretary of State’s office. That email confirmed what they had been hearing from county auditors, and they spent considerable time thinking about how to make our elections safer.

I want to encourage my constituents to consider requesting an absentee ballot. The CDC is encouraging voters to utilize absentee voting, and the state has followed that guidance by mailing absentee ballot request forms to every active registered voter. The mailing is anticipated to arrive in voters’ mailboxes the week of April 27.

County auditors are now looking for people who are at low risk to serve as precinct election officials (PEOs). Please encourage low-risk Iowans, particularly those in the 17-35 age bracket, to step up for democracy and step in for our higher risk PEOs. If you would like to consider being a poll worker, check out this website: pollworker.iowa.gov.

Elections are the cornerstone of our nation and as such are too important to fall prey to COVID-19. In Iowa, we proudly run our elections at the local level. Iowa serves as a shining example of how state and local election officials are best positioned to conduct elections, and Iowa having a successful 2020 election cycle will show why control of elections should remain with the states. Iowa’s county auditors are seasoned risk managers, and they have stepped up to find creative solutions to the unique circumstances we are facing. I applaud their efforts and ask that you reach out to your county auditor to learn more about the steps they are taking to help slow the spread of COVID-19. During a time when Americans are being urged to stand together by staying apart, voting provides the sense of community and strength Iowans desperately need. Continuing to ensure safety and integrity is a top priority of our state government.

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” –Aristotle

It is an honor to represent the people of Senate District 4. You may contact me at dennis.guth@legis.iowa.gov or 641-430-0424.

 

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