DES MOINES, Iowa -- After a one-two punch of trying to get her name on the ballot, Theresa Greenfield isn't giving up.
"I am in this to the primary. I started this path a long time ago and this is just a bump along the way," she says.
On Monday, the Secretary of State's Office announced Greenfield did not meet the required number of voter signatures to get her name on the primary ballot. The state requires nearly 1,800 signatures, and Greenfield feel short by 300.
The Des Moines Democrat is vying for Iowa's 3rd Congressional district seat and is already looking for options to get on the ballot in time for primary. She scrambled to re-submit voter signatures on Friday before the filing deadline after she says her campaign manager admitted to forging several of the names. The Secretary of State's election office is in charge of reviewing and counting the signatures.
"We look to make sure the name, address, and headings are there. Then we simply start counting signatures," says Dawn Williams, director of the election office.
Williams says that's where her office's duties end and the public's involvement begins. She says it's up to the public to verify the validity of the signatures.
"They are available for public inspection and they can review to see if people that signed live within the district or if people signed more than once for the same candidate."
Admittedly, Williams says very few people choose to verify a candidate's paperwork. It's raising the question of whether it would have gone unnoticed if Greenfield's campaign had submitted the petition with the forged signatures.
"They were on file in our office, yes," says Williams. "They were received and met the requirements of the Iowa Code."
Greenfield says she knew of the rules but has no regrets on choosing to resubmit the paperwork.
"It wasn't a choice for me. I knew that I could not let a petition go forward that had forged signatures on it. It had be removed. It put us on a tougher path, but doing the right thing sometimes means taking the tough path," Greenfield says.
Greenfield's campaign says it is considering alternative ways to get on the primary ballot. The Attorney General's Office tells Channel 13 it is working with the Secretary of State's Office to determine if and what the candidate's options may be. According to Iowa Code 43.23.1, the candidate's party can hold a special convention to add a candidate to the primary ballot. However, it must be done within 71 days of the primary election. A special convention would have to take place before Monday, March 26th for Greenfield to be added to the ballot.