Online voter registration could be available to Iowans in early 2016 following the approval of new state rules Tuesday. The Iowa Voter Registration Commission voted unanimously to adopt rules establishing an online registration system that we be maintained by the Iowa Department of Transportation. The move allows the DOT to begin developing the system, with plans to make it available to would-be voters by the first quarter of 2016. That might be after Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses, but well before next year’s primary and general elections. … Because the system will rely on electronic signatures on file with the DOT, online registration will be available only to Iowans with a driver license or non-operator ID. More than 90 percent of eligible voters have a state-issued ID card, Secretary of State’s Office officials said Tuesday. All other means of voter registration will remain available with the introduction of the online form.
The potential lack of access has raised concerns among some voting-rights advocates and appeared to trouble Iowa Democratic Party Executive Director Troy Price, a member of the commission.
“Are there ways that we’ll be able to capture those folks who currently don’t have a driver’s license?” Price wondered aloud during the meeting.
Secretary of State Paul Pate, staffers from his office and a handful of county auditors all said they viewed the initial rules as a starting point, and that even broader online registration available to Iowans without IDs is a long-term goal.
Full Article: Online voter registration coming to Iowa in early 2016.