“May I see your ID?” That questioned would be asked of Iowa voters if a bill sponsored by Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz becomes law. Schultz, a Republican, spoke at Cecil’s Cafe Friday afternoon to the Pachyderm Club a Republican social group and said he intends to push a bill requiring photo identification during next year’s legislative session.
… Marshall County Auditor Dawn Williams, a Republican, attended the meeting and said in her 22 years with the auditor’s office, many of which she oversaw elections, that she’s only seen one confirmed case of voter fraud.
“There are so many different checks and balances. Is it a perfect system? No. Is there widespread fraud? No, absolutely not,” Williams said. She was uncertain if she would support Schultz’ effort, saying she wanted to see the final bill before endorsing or rejecting.
Opponents feel such a requirement would deny voting to those without identification. A 2006 study, conducted by pollster Opinion Research and sponsored by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, found that 11 percent of U.S. citizens did not have a government-issued photo ID. Certain groups, the study found, had a higher percentage those Age 65 and older (18 percent), voting-age African Americans (25 percent), those making less then $35,000 a year (15 percent).
It also reported that 18 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds have a photo ID with incorrect information such as their address seven percent of citizens lack proof of citizenship and 34 percent of voting-age women do not have access to any official document that reflects their married name.
“We don’t have those kinds of numbers in Iowa,” Schultz said.
The bill would provide a free ID for voting purposes, and would grant the ability of one voter with ID to vouch for one other person without proof. Schultz said inclusion of those provisions would make the bill “bulletproof” to potential court challenges.
The League of Women Voters, the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP have come out against voter identification bills, but polls indicate many voters support ID efforts.