Legislation that would create an online voter registration system for Iowa residents passed the Senate Thursday, but it’s unclear whether it will advance in the House. The Democratic-controlled Senate voted 26-20 Thursday along party lines for the bill. That tends to show what kind of support it might get in the Republican-led House. The legislation would allow people to register to vote online through the secretary of state’s website if they have an Iowa driver’s license number, a state-issued identification card number or a Social Security number. When a registration is completed online, officials at a county auditor’s office are expected to verify the information before mailing a voter card.
A state commission voted earlier this year to allow the formation of such a system, though registering with a Social Security number was not an option. Critics at the time said that would exclude roughly 7 percent of eligible voters.
“The bill before us basically says that we’re not going to leave any Iowan behind when it comes to their basic civil right of voting,” said Sen. Jeff Danielson, D-Cedar Falls, on the floor. “The first step in voting is to register.”
The secretary of state’s office would work with the Iowa Department of Transportation to offer the system. The bipartisan Legislative Services Agency estimates the bill would cost about $203,000 in the fiscal year that begins in July and $20,000 in subsequent years. That includes a one-time cost of $110,000 to hire a vendor to sync the new system with the state’s current voter registration system.
Full Article: Iowa Senate OKs bill on online voter registration system.