Qualified voters with a state driver’s license or photo ID issued by the Iowa Department of Transportation will be able to register to vote online by the 2016 primary election if a new regulation is approved by a state commission, Iowa’s incoming top election official said Tuesday. The Iowa Voter Registration Commission held a public hearing Tuesday on a rule that would let qualified voters with a driver’s license or photo ID register to vote on a website. Currently, voters registering or updating their information must fill out a paper application form. Secretary of State-elect Paul Pate, a Republican who takes office in January, said he hopes to have the online system running for those in the DOT system by the primary election in June 2016. “My goal is, well before the next election cycle we would have this in place on some level, and keep expanding on it as we have the resources to do that,” Pate said.
He said finalizing the rule would provide online registration for 93 percent of Iowans, and the regulation could be amended as needed to incorporate qualified voters who don’t have a DOT-issued ID or license.
The voter registration website would import information from the DOT documents including the user’s signature into voter registration forms and automatically forward them to the state’s voter database.
“The Voter Registration Commission views this as a first step, not the end,” said chairman Charlie Smithson. “I want to make clear it is a supplemental process. It doesn’t alter the ability of anybody to do what they’re currently doing. It’s to be an additional process.” It’s the eligible voters without a driver’s license or DOT-issued ID that concerns voter rights groups.
Full Article: Iowa moving forward with online voter registration.