Government

LULAC challenges voter ID law in court

Group calls law a 'smoke screen' for voter suppression

(from left) Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate and Senior Cybersecurity Advisor for the US Department of Homeland Security Matt Masterson hold a press conference on an election cybersecurity initiative at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids on Friday, May 4, 2018. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
(from left) Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate and Senior Cybersecurity Advisor for the US Department of Homeland Security Matt Masterson hold a press conference on an election cybersecurity initiative at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids on Friday, May 4, 2018. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — The Iowa chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens said it has filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging the voter ID law that’s currently being phased in for the primary elections.

Joe Enriquez Henry, national vice president for the Midwest region for LULAC, said the lawsuit in Polk County District Court will challenge all elements of the new law, including the shortened time frame for early voting. The new law also requires voters to produce state-approved identification at the polls.

The new requirements put undue pressure on a portion of Iowa voters, including minorities, Henry said.

“It’s going to cut down on the opportunity for a number of people from our community to be able to have their votes counted,” Henry said. “This is wrong. It’s a smoke screen, another form of voter suppression.”

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate defended Iowa’s voting law, saying it remain one of the most generous in the country.

“Iowa is one of only seven states that offers Election Day voter registration, online voter registration, no-fault absentee voting, and early voting. Our absentee voting period remains one of the longest in the nation, and our polls are open longer on Election Day than every state except New York,” he said in a statement. “It’s easy to vote in Iowa, but hard to cheat.”

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