A new election integrity law that includes a voter ID requirement and shortens the early voting period from 40 to 29 days was signed into law by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad on Friday.
The bill, HF 516, requires voters to show identification at the polls beginning in 2019. If an individual cannot afford an identification card or does not have one, a card will be provided free of charge.
The law provides additional submission guidelines for third-party voter registration organizers and establishes requirements for post-election audits and referring illegal votes to local law enforcement. The law also adjusts the absentee voting period to 29 days before an election and creates an electronic poll book to identify felon status.
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said the bill isn’t just about preventing voter fraud, but also modernizing the state’s election processes and managing voter information.
A voting reform bill that includes a photo voter ID requirement passed Iowa’s legislature and is expected to be signed into law by Republican Gov. Terry Branstad.
The measure, introduced by Secretary of State Paul Pate (R), will require voters to show one of five forms of state-issued identification when they show up at the polls. Among the forms of identification poll workers will accept: A driver’s license, a non-driver’s license identification, a U.S. passport or military identification card or a special voter verification card that every voter will receive in the mail.
If voters don’t show an identification, they would be permitted to fill out a provisional ballot before signing an affidavit attesting to their identification.
The bill also reduces the number of early voting days from 40 to 29, eliminates straight-party voting, provides money for counties to buy electronic poll books, and mandates election audits.
According to the latest Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll, 69 percent of Iowans think voters should have to present government-issued identification before casting a ballot.
A voter ID requirement is part of the Election Integrity Act proposed by Secretary of State Paul Pate and introduced in the Iowa House earlier this month.
Voter participation and voter integrity are not mutually exclusive.
Not to worry, “confused and worried” Iowa college students. Despite scare-mongering in the media that a new voter ID law will somehow keep students from voting, the truth is that Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate’s election integrity proposal will do nothing of the sort, as Pate himself explains:
The Election Integrity Act is not a photo ID mandate. Registered voters who do not already have an Iowa driver’s license or state-issued ID will be provided with a free voter ID card in the mail, automatically. It does not require a picture, additional documentation or travelling to the DMV to obtain.
This legislation also does not change Iowa’s voter registration process. Election day voter registration continues under my proposal.
College students can register to vote using the exact same opportunities currently available. Iowa law requires election day registrants to show proof of identification and proof of residency, but the ID cards must contain an expiration date. Student voters will be treated just like every other Iowan. If they need a voter ID card, we will supply them with one, for free.
Treated just like every other Iowan. That seems eminently fair.
“This bill will make it difficult to cheat the system.”
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate announced plans for new legislation that will require Iowa voters to show photo identification: a driver’s license, military ID, passport, or free voter ID card issued by the Secretary of State’s office.
Pate’s plan also calls for absentee voters to put their driver’s license number on their ballots, and for all counties to have electronic poll books to scan IDs.
The Republican-controlled legislature is expected to pass voter ID this session, and Governor Terry Branstad has said he supports it too, as do Iowa voters.
“Poll after poll has shown us that Iowans support voter ID. . . . Polls also show a lot of folks to do not have confidence in the voting system. . . . What we’re doing here is continuing the role we’re supposed to do and that is protecting the integrity and increasing participation — and technology is the way to do that,” Pate said.
“There are other ways to accomplish the same goal”
When Iowa’s Secretary of State wrote rules in 2012 to identify illegally-registered non-citizens on the state’s voter rolls and refer them to county auditors, affiliates of frequent anti-election integrity plaintiffs ACLU and LULAC sued to block them. A court decided that the Secretary of State’s office “lacked the statutory authority to promulgate” the rules, and Secretary Paul Pate has now dropped the state’s appeal.
Pate said he voluntarily declined to continue the appeal after consulting with the Attorney General’s Office and will focus now on “building the most accurate voter registration list for Iowa.”
“I will use my authority to the fullest extent of state and federal law to ensure accurate voter lists,” Pate said. “There are other ways to accomplish the same goal without pursuing a course with significant legal hurdles.”
Iowa’s “legal hurdles” relate to rule-making authority, but the anti-integrity crowd can be counted on to continue intimidating states with lawsuits and threats of lawsuits to discourage any and all commonsense efforts to find and remove ineligible registrants who should never have been on voter rolls in the first place.
A Cedar Rapids man is accused of voting three times in the November 2012 election. Linn County prosecutors say Clarence Ellis admitted casting absentee ballots for two other family members, a felony. Video.
Earlier this month, Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz announced the conviction of a Muscatine County woman for “registering to vote and voting in the 2012 general election while being a non-citizen.” Mayra Alejandra Lopez Morales pleaded her felony charge down to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to unsupervised probation.
“Dirty rolls can mean dirty elections.”
To the surprise of Wright County Auditor Betty Ellis, 100 dead people were found on the voter rolls she’s charged with maintaining:
Wright County’s number of registered dead came to light last week when Secretary of State Matt Schultz announced that 1,234 Iowans who are listed as dead by the Social Security Administration are still registered to vote…
Leaving the dead on the voter rolls opens up the possibility of voter fraud.