The legislation makes sweeping changes to Iowa's elections laws that Republicans say are needed to ensure the honesty of the process and prevent fraud. Among them is a provision that would require every voter to present government-issued identification at the poll on Election Day. In addition, the bill shortens the time frame for casting absentee ballots and voting early at satellite polling sites from 40 days to 29 days. . . .
“My proposal was aimed at modernizing Iowa’s elections technology, streamlining the system, and protecting it against the potential for human error and fraud," [Secretary of State Paul] Pate said. "The bill passed by both chambers accomplishes those goals and ensures every eligible Iowan will be able to cast their ballot and will not be turned away. I look forward to the governor signing the bill into law, and then the real work begins as we will coordinate with all 99 county auditors to implement this legislation, and institute our extensive outreach program so that every Iowan understands the provisions of this bill.” . . .
Republicans said the bill has been crafted to address possible court challenges. They also point to a recent Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll which found 69 percent of Iowans support requiring an ID to vote.
The bill outlines five forms of identification that would be valid at the polls, four of which include a photo. The fifth would be a new voter verification card the state and county would issue to every voter free of charge. Those who show up to the polls without valid ID could vote using a provisional ballot. . . . Most of the changes will take effect in 2019, according to the Iowa Secretary of State's office.
Governor Terry Brandstad is expected to sign the bill, as he has indicated his approval for voter ID laws. We hope that Iowa adopts this important, common-sense protection of the integrity of its elections. Unfortunately, although voter ID has wide support among Democrats and Republicans, liberal groups will inevitably challenge this law in a pointless waste of the courts' time and taxpayers' money.