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The Senate passed House File 2486 this week. This bill works to makes sure election rules are not changed for this upcoming election. It puts current practice into law and gives Iowans and campaigns competing for votes in this state a clear knowledge over the rules in place for this November’s election and the confidence to know these rules won’t be changed in the middle of the race.

House File 2486 also ensures Iowans have access to polling sites during an emergency and voter ID laws are uniformly enforced. Iowans have always taken their right to vote seriously and this bill continues our goal of safe, secure, and reliable elections. This legislation does not inhibit any voter from requesting and voting by absentee ballot. Registered voters have four months before any election to request a ballot. Request forms are readily available on the Secretary of State’s website, at the county auditor’s office, or even by mail if a campaign, organization, political party, or county auditor decides to send them out.

This bill brings checks-and-balances to the secretary of state’s emergency powers, making them identical to the legislative oversight of the governor’s emergency powers. This bill also requires no more than 35 percent of polling sites close in an emergency situation, making sure a minimum number of polling sites are available to a voter so they can participate in an election and exercise their right to vote.

Finally, House File 2486 also requires the voter to fill out all information required on an absentee ballot request form. This is no different than the information you have to fill out at a doctor’s office, bank, or other business so they know it is you. These safety measures verify an individual requested an absentee ballot and outline the process for county auditors to obtain missing information.

Chris Cournoyer

Author: Chris Cournoyer