Voters in Iowa will have more hurdles and less time to vote after Republican lawmakers approved new changes to Iowa’s elections this legislative session. The changes include shortening the voting window and requiring a photo ID to vote. The legislation was pushed by Republican lawmakers despite opposition from both local election officials and voting rights advocates due to the new regulations and challenges voters will face.
The effects of the proposal could make it harder for over 200,000 Iowans who don’t currently have the required documents to vote. The impact of the legislation will especially hurt the elderly, disabled, minorities, and low-income Iowans who disproportionately lack the needed requirements. These negative effects will also certainly lead to the challenging of the new regulations in court to determine if the new law is constitutional.
The elimination of 11 early voting days will make it harder for Iowans to vote and gives communities less time to have satellite voting locations throughout their area. Approximately 34,000 Iowans voted in the first 11 days of early voting last year.
Throughout the debates House Democrats offered multiple amendments that would have made voting easier for Iowans by expanding the number of IDs accepted and keeping the early voting timeline in place.