House Republicans moved forward Thursday with a proposal that would require Iowa voters to show photo identification at polling places. Lawmakers in the House State Government Committee approved the legislation in a 12-8 vote split along party lines. The measure is backed by Secretary of State Matt Schultz, who has filed identical bills in the House and Senate. Schultz, a Republican, has made voter ID one of his key issues. GOP lawmakers largely support him, saying identification is needed to prevent fraud. Democrats say there is little fraud and say Republicans want to discourage voting by minorities and the elderly, who may not have the required documents.
“This bill will do nothing to secure Iowa from voter impersonation. It will keep the poor, elderly, minorities, students away from the polls — those that vote Democrat,” said Rep. Bruce Hunter, D-Des Moines, who argued for 45 minutes against the legislation.
… If passed, the law would apply to elections held after Jan. 1, 2015. The bill will now move on to a vote from the full House. The plan will likely have little support in the Democratic-controlled Senate.