Secretary of State, Paul Pate and Iowa Republicans are set out to make voting harder for everyday Iowans. While we are waiting to see the exact language of Sec. Pate’s bill, we do know what Senate Republicans are proposing: Voter ID.

 SSB1163/HSB93: Secretary of State Voter ID bill

The Voter ID bill would require acceptable proof of identification for voting on Election Day or in-person absentee voting to include a photo and be issued by the federal government, the state, or a local government.  Sounds harmless, right? About 85,000 Iowa citizens do not have a photo ID. This law would specifically disenfranchise students, people of color, the elderly and disabled individuals.

Why is Voter ID a bad idea?

  • We have a model election system in Iowa. Voter ID is a solution in search of a problem
  • Waste of time and tax payer dollars. It will cost $340,000 just to issue new IDs.
  • County election officials have already come out in opposition to Voter ID, which included both Democrats and Republican officials because it “would be expensive, pinch voter turnout – and is unnecessary”
  • Over 85,000 people could be disenfranchised from voting – especially the elderly, disabled and people of color
  • A 2011 Advancement Project report shows that 15% of those earning less than $35,000 per year are without a photo ID

We will not support any legislation that makes it harder to vote. We need more people engaged in our election system and we need to expand voting rights.

We need:

  • Universal voter registration which would automatically register Iowa citizens to vote when they turn 18. Instead of opting in, individuals would have to opt-out of receiving a voter registration card. Good news – there’s already sponsored legislation – Senate File 65.
  • Reinstate ex-offender voting rights automatically when individuals have served their time.

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