Letter: Voter ID would be costly addition

An Iowa poll is frequently quoted as showing Iowa voters support Voter ID. I wonder what the question to those voters was. If the question had been worded: do you favor implementing a Voter ID law knowing it will cost taxpayers $340,000 for the Secretary of State to issue voter ID cards to registered voters who do not have an Iowa driver’s license and $1.05 million to provide e-poll books to those counties that do not currently have them, do you think Iowa voters would have answered yes?

These figures are not made up. They are provided in Secretary Pate’s fiscal note provided to the Iowa Senate before that body’s vote on the bill. Also, included in the fiscal note are figures for ongoing costs to the counties ($25,000 to $45,000) to annually produce additional voter ID cards for new voters or voters who have moved, $65,120 to upgrade the IVoter system, the statewide voter registration system, and $70,000 to educate Iowa voters about what they must now do to exercise their constitutional right.

These are not all of the costs outlined in Secretary Pate’s fiscal note. The bill also establishes the policy of random postelection audits of counties, which will be determined by lot. Secretary Pate does not include figures for those expenses in his fiscal note.

My question for Iowa voters is, now, based on the above information, do you favor Voter ID in Iowa?

Fran Henderson


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