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From Rep. Brian Lohse’s legislative newsletter:
- Iowans deserve secure elections which is exactly what this legislation accomplishes. The vast majority of Iowans support requiring voters to prove their identity when they vote, which is why House Republicans fought hard to pass election integrity measures into law in 2017. So far, voters have welcomed these much-needed reforms with open arms, there have been no major problems, and access to the polls has not been reduced.
- This legislation ensures Iowans are able to vote: The absentee voting changes in this legislation expand access to voting by ensuring that when a voter requests an absentee ballot, county election officials confirm the voter’s identity using a variety of methods. This will help ensure that an absentee ballot is sent to the correct voter and arrives at their preferred mailing address in a timely manner so they can make their voice heard.
- This legislation reduces the risk of voter fraud: With more Iowans moving towards vote by mail, we must ensure that our absentee voting system is secure and free of fraud, especially as we see these issues playing out in other states. Iowa’s current voter registration system is outdated and contains many errors. There are much more accurate ways to confirm the identity of a voter and this legislation ensures that county election officials must utilize those methods first before using the voter registration system. This will ensure that the correct Iowa voter is receiving their ballot.
- Absentee voting is not being restricted: Iowa continues to be one of the most accessible states when it comes to voting. Iowans have the ability to vote by mail with no-excuse absentee voting, 29 days for early voting, and some of the longest polling hours in the country on Election Day. Earlier this session, House Republicans passed a strongly bipartisan election bill that prevents counties from severely reducing polling locations during emergencies, to ensure Iowans can exercise their right to vote in the event of a COVID spike this fall.