The following statement can be attributed to Mark Stringer, ACLU of Iowa Executive Director, regarding Gov. Kim Reynolds yesterday signing into law a voter suppression bill.
“This law is nothing less than voter suppression, pure and simple. It was pushed forward by politicians who have yet to produce a single case of voter fraud that they say these measures would prevent.
Our leaders are unanimous in stating that Iowa elections are among the most secure in the country. And yet they continue to limit the options people have to exercise their right to vote.
Early voting, absentee voting, and voting by mail all help people who don’t have the luxury of flexible schedules, ready transportation, and the health or ability to leave their homes.
This wide-reaching attack on early voting will do a number of things that will make it harder for Iowans to vote. It’s especially offensive at a time when our government is giving lip service to helping Iowans who have been isolated, marginalized, and impoverished by the pandemic.
This law also will further limit voting among Iowans who have difficulty in actually physically getting to the polls, especially during a limited time frame. This includes the elderly, people with disabilities, people who can’t drive or don’t have a car, who don’t have reliable access to public or similar transportation, people who might be penalized by their employer or workplace for taking time to vote, and people who have to care for children or others.
Early voting, absentee ballots, satellite voting, and keeping voting booths open longer all make it easier for people to vote. There is absolutely no evidence that these measures encourage any fraud.
Meanwhile, study after study does produce evidence that voter fraud is an almost non-existent problem in our country and our state. This law is a solution in search of a problem.
It also puts too much power to control elections into the hand of one person—the Iowa Secretary of State.
Democracy works best when every qualified voter can vote without these obstacles.”