Letter: A student's plea to Paul Pate

Since I turned 18 I have voted in every election I was able to. This includes general elections and primaries, but also bond issues and off-year municipal elections. I take my vote seriously.

Yet, under Secretary of State Paul Pate’s proposed legislation that would require a state-issued ID to vote calls into question my ability to vote in the state that I call home.

Will someone be turned away at the polls if they do not have an ID or an issued voter ID card? Would they be allowed to vote provisionally? Would you need one of these forms of ID to register on the day of the election?

Iowa is exceptional in many ways. It’s home to more than a dozen institutions of higher learning. We produce 7 percent of the nation’s grain when we only make up 1.4 percent of the land. We lead the nation in voter turnout by 20 percent. An Iowan is rarely turned away at the polls. But this new legislation calls into question this reality.

Secretary Pate, you made a greatly appreciated effort to reach out to college students this past election cycle. I was proud to know that while I was registering hundreds of students this fall, the top election official in my state was working to do the same. Yet, this legislation would disenfranchise many of those students we registered and new students enrolling in Iowa schools. Please consider how this legislation will affect students and retract this bill.

Austin Wadle

National Council Chair for the College Democrats of America



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