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.