With Secretary of State Paul Pate’s Election Integrity Act still in draft stage, Democrats on the House State Government Committee on Thursday complained it was hard to ask questions about his proposal to require all voters to present ID cards before casting their ballots. “We were hoping today to have the bill before us … so we could ask about what it does and about problems and pitfalls,” Rep. Mary Mascher, D-Iowa City, said about the bill still being drafted by the Legislative Services Agency. “Part of the concern and angst we have about opening this up today is there are so many questions we have.”
Rep. Bruce Hunter, D-Des Moines, was equally perplexed by the lack of anything more than a one-page explainer. “Without a bill it’s hard to ask specific questions,” he said, adding that made the discussion “kind of meaningless.”
He did make clear his opposition, telling Pate that there were only 31 credible instances of fraud in the billion votes cast between 2000 and 2014. “I have a better chance of getting struck by lightning, twice,” Hunter said.
Pate addressed several questions about the mechanics of his proposal during an hourlong presentation and question-and-answer session. He emphasized that it gives voter participation and election integrity equal priority, and would require more of election administrators — his office and county auditors — but would not be a burden on voters.