A civil rights organization and an Iowa State University student is suing Iowa’s secretary of state over a voter ID law they say infringes on Iowans’ ability to fairly cast a ballot. The League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa and ISU student Taylor Blair announced Wednesday morning that they are filing a lawsuit in Polk County District Court. Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, who administers Iowa elections, is named as the defendant in a draft of the lawsuit, which did not appear online in the state’s filing system as of Wednesday afternoon. Under the law, Iowans are required to present a valid form of identification when casting a ballot. Those forms include a driver’s license, non-operator’s license, passport, military ID, veteran’s ID or state-issued voter card.
Pate released a statement defending the law against what he called a “baseless and politically motivated lawsuit,” which he alleged was “apparently timed to disrupt the June 5 primary elections.” He said the law has adequate safeguards to protect voters’ rights.
The plaintiffs also are seeking a preliminary injunction to block most provisions of the law from taking effect while the lawsuit is ongoing — potentially halting its enforcement during next week’s June 5 primary election.
Early voting in that election has already begun.