A controversial bill that will make it harder over for 200,000 Iowans to vote is expected to pass the Iowa House this week. The legislation has been pushed by Republican lawmakers despite opposition from local election officials and voting rights advocates due to the new regulations and hurdles for voters.
Earlier this week, a public hearing was held at the State Capitol and over 215 Iowans signed up to speak against the bill, which impacts the elderly, disabled, and minorities the most. Iowa currently has some of the best election laws in the country, and does not have a voter fraud problem. Iowa constantly ranks near the top of every ranking for election integrity.
Under the plan offered by Republican lawmakers, Iowans would need a photo ID to vote with strict new requirements on the type of photo ID that can be used for identification. It also makes it more difficult to get an absentee ballot and will force many Iowans to go to their county auditor’s office to ensure their vote is counted.
House Democrats offered amendments that expanded voting rights and provided options to make it easier for all Iowans to vote. The bill passed the Iowa House on a party line vote and it will go to the Senate where they are debating a similar proposal.