A contentious voter identification bill cleared an Iowa Senate subcommittee Wednesday, although critics said there is no evidence it’s needed and a Democratic lawmaker scolded a state elections official for suggesting there is a lack of confidence in Iowa’s election system. Senate Study Bill 1163, which is proposed by Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate, was approved on a 2-1 vote, advancing the bill to the Senate State Government Committee. Republican Sens. Roby Smith of Davenport and Jake Chapman of Adel supported the bill, while Democratic Sen. Tony Bisignano opposed it. The Iowa House is considering its own version of Pate’s bill, which is House Study Bill 93. Deputy Secretary of State Carol Olson told the panel the legislation will modernize Iowa’s elections technology by establishing electronic poll books in every Iowa precinct. In addition, the bill calls for establishing a voter ID system with signature verification, absentee ballot verification and post-election audits.
Every registered voter who does not already own a driver’s license, non-driver’s ID, military ID, veterans ID, or passport, will receive a Voter ID card in the mail, automatically, Olson said. This will apply to newly registered voters as well.
“Iowa elections are not rigged,” Olson said. But she added that Pate has made a priority of making sure Iowa’s elections are conducted as honestly as possible.
A Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll conducted in February showed that 69 percent of Iowa adults surveyed supported requiring a voter to present a government-issued identification card before casting a ballot. Twenty-eight percent were opposed.
Full Article: Contentious voter ID bill advances in Iowa Senate.