I am disappointed by proposals in the Iowa Legislature to eliminate same-day registration and restrict early voting options. I have worked with people facing barriers to independence and assure you these options are necessary to give all Iowans the opportunity to vote. I prefer voting early so I don’t inconvenience my employer by asking for time off on Election Day.
Early voting includes absentee ballots by mail, satellite voting and voting in person at the auditor’s office. Over 40 percent of Iowa voters used one of these methods in 2012 and 2016. Early voting is not a partisan issue. It makes it easier for Iowans to vote and increases participation in elections.
The restriction of early voting options most affects those who have difficulty getting to their polling places. This includes parents, the elderly, students, people with disabilities, people without cars, people working multiple jobs or long shifts or with a long commute and rural areas where polling places are not nearby.
Same-day registration is beneficial to people who have recently moved, turned 18 or gained citizenship before the election. Two of my roommates were able to vote this year because of same-day registration.
Sponsors of these changes cite they will decrease voter fraud, but statistics show that is not a problem in Iowa. These changes make it more difficult for Iowans to vote. Please call your representatives and tell them to vote “no” to any changes in our excellent electoral laws.