Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate on Thursday defended his new voter identification proposal as an effort to improve administrative efficiency — not to prevent fraud or disqualify voters. And he said he’d oppose any efforts by state lawmakers to expand the plan to include a more controversial photo-ID requirement for voters. “There are many legislators and they have different perspectives, but I’ve tried to encourage them to leave this bill alone, to treat it as what we’ve presented it as and try to keep it as clean as possible,” he said. Pate, a Republican, described his soon-to-be-introduced “Election Integrity Act” in a meeting Thursday with the Des Moines Register’s editorial board. The overall effort, he said, is to streamline election administration across the state by bringing electronic voter databases to every precinct in every county of the state.
Along with expanding so-called electronic poll books, Pate’s proposal would require all voters to present a state-issue identification card when casting a ballot. But, he argued, what he’s suggesting differs significantly from photo-ID requirements introduced and enacted elsewhere in the country over the last decade.
Such photo-ID laws have been sold as a tool for combating voter fraud and derided by critics as a method of disenfranchisement because of the costs and practical challenges that can come with obtaining a state-issued photo ID.
In contrast to such approaches, Pate says his plan is meant to ease election administration.
Full Article: Voter ID plan isn’t aimed at election fraud, Pate says.