Finkenauer campaign was responsible for text messages sending voters to the wrong polling places

Abby Finkenauer — official photo, Iowa legislature

Abby Finkenauer’s congressional campaign was responsible for the text messages containing erroneous information about where to vote in the primary election that were sent to voters in five Iowa counties on Monday and Tuesday, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

On Wednesday afternoon, the office issued a press release explaining that a vendor working for the Finkenauer campaign sent the texts as part of a get-out-the-vote effort.

The Finkenauer campaign and its vendor were cooperative with our investigation, and stated that a corrective text message had been sent out to voters. After speaking with the campaign and their vendor, Secretary Pate has concluded that the inaccurate text messages were the result of the campaign’s data management error, and were not malicious in nature.

Finkenauer, a two-term member of Iowa House of Representatives, won the Democratic primary in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District on Tuesday. The district, which covers northeastern Iowa, is currently represented by Republican Rod Blum. If the 28-year-old Finkenauer defeats the two-term incumbent, she will become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

Following the Secretary of State’s announcement, Finkenauer’s campaign manager, Joe Farrell, issued a written statement.

“When we heard that there might have been a problem with texts from our campaign, we took immediate action,” read the statement. “We contacted our vendor to start investigating how this might have occurred and who may have been impacted. We then sent out a text asking voters to check their polling location with the Secretary of State’s office and provided a link to the polling location finder.”

The statement concluded, “We apologize for the confusion this might have caused any voters.”

The text messages were reported not only by voters in Linn, Black Hawk and Winnisheik Counties, which are part of the 1st Congressional District, but also by voters in Johnson and Polk Counties, which are not.

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