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DES MOINES — According to the Iowa Secretary of State, the Abby Finkenauer campaign was behind the erroneous polling location texts sent Tuesday.

The text messages were sent to four counties with erroneous information on polling locations.

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate was made aware of the erroneous text messages Monday evening and early Tuesday issued a statement warning people about the erroneous texts.

After an investigation, it was determined Finkenauer’s campaign was the source of the texts.

Finkenauer, 28, won the Democratic nomination Tuesday to face off against Rep. Rod Blum in the U.S. House 1st District. She has served in the Iowa House since 2014 as a representative from Dubuque.

“The Finkenauer campaign and its vendor were cooperative with our investigation, and stated that a corrective text message had been sent out to voters,” said Kevin Hall, communication director for the Secretary of State’s Office. “After speaking with the campaign and their vendor, (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’s campaign manager, Joe Farrell, said in a statement issued Wednesday that a few dozen people were impacted by the text messages.

“As part of our efforts to engage voters and increase participation in this election, our campaign sent out text messages on Monday reminding voters of election day and where they go to vote. When we heard that there might have been a problem with texts from our campaign, we took immediate action. 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. We then contacted the Secretary of State’s office to let them know we were aware of an error and we’re working with our vendor to investigate what might have gone wrong. Our understanding is that a few dozen people were sent inaccurate polling locations unintentionally.”

He said the campaign is “deeply disturbed” about what happened. “We apologize for the confusion this might have caused any voters.”

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Staff Writer

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