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Iowa election officials say text messages misdirected voters

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Election officials are warning that some Iowa voters are receiving text messages directing them to the wrong polling places.

Secretary of State Paul Pate tweeted Tuesday morning that his office is investigating the texts. He said some of the primary day texts erroneously start with “Tomorrow is the Democratic Primary.”

Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald says county auditors were told a preliminary investigation suggests the texts are a mistake by a campaign and not malicious in intent. Reports of incorrect text messages were made in Polk, Linn, Johnson and Black Hawk counties.

A spokesman for Pate’s office says additional information is forthcoming. Pate says voters can contact their county auditors’ offices or go online to find polling place information.

In related primary news, with five Democratic candidates competing in Iowa’s gubernatorial primary, it’s possible the top vote-getter doesn’t end up on the November ballot.

Iowa law requires a primary candidate to secure 35 percent of the vote to win an election. If that doesn’t happen Tuesday, the Democratic nomination will be decided at a state party convention later this month.

Several Iowa officials, historians and political science professors say they’re not aware of any gubernatorial nomination for either major party that has been decided by convention.

At least two Republican congressional races have been decided at party conventions in recent years.

The eventual nominee will attempt to unseat Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, who is facing her first electoral bid to be governor after serving the remaining term of Terry Branstad, now U.S. ambassador to China.