Secretary of State Matt Schultz announced a new plan Thursday for requiring Iowa voters to show a photo ID at the ballot box, but it received a tepid response from legislative leaders. The new legislation is crafted to ensure security at the polls as well as access for voters at risk of being disenfranchised, said Schultz, a Republican. “The real point of this law is to make sure you are who you say you are when you come to vote,” he said, adding, “We’re not trying to disenfranchise or keep people from voting. We want security and integrity in our elections.” As a secretary of state-sponsored bill, the measure will be introduced in both the House and Senate, but lawmakers from both parties and both chambers offered something less than enthusiasm for it.
House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, said he would prefer to see the Senate advance a voter ID measure that the Republican-led House passed last year. He suggested that the existing bill, House File 95, could be amended to include Schultz’s bill. “Right now we’re focused on those other things already laid out,” Paulsen said.
But neither last year’s House bill nor Schultz’s new proposal generated much excitement from Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal.