I’m proud to live in a state with one of the best electoral systems in the country, which is why I am baffled that Secretary of State Paul Pate introduced a bill which would create costly and unnecessary changes to the Iowa voting process.
The bill, HSB78, would require Iowa voters to have a voter ID card, signature verification of both in-person and absentee ballots, and all counties to use electronic poll books. While a technology upgrade for all counties sounds like a convenience, the counties would owe money to the state for the new technology, which is incredibly expensive.
This bill was allegedly drafted as a solution to voter fraud. However, Iowa’s election system is one of the cleanest in the country.
In fact, Pate himself said in a statement in October 2016, “I can assure you Iowa’s elections are not rigged. […] Iowa is one of the best states in the nation for both voter participation and voter integrity.”
Pate spoke correctly. Iowa boasts some of the highest rates of voter participation in the country — over 70 percent in 2012 and in 2016. Creating more stipulations would only serve as a barrier to voters. The Iowa State Association of Auditors has opposed the bill, calling it unnecessary.
Why is Pate trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist, when our state has far more urgent needs for funding? I urge Iowa voters to contact their representatives to oppose this ineffective and unnecessary bill.