116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Measures overhauling elections in Iowa moved rapidly through the Statehouse, gaining final approval from majority Republican lawmakers on Wednesday night. Here are some of the major provisions of House File 590/Senate File 413:
Cuts early voting
' Shortens the early voting period to 20 days from 29, three years after Republicans reduced the period from 40 days.
' Auditors would not be allowed to mail an absentee ballot request form unless the voter asked for it.
' Voters now may request an absentee ballot up to 120 before an election. That would be cut to 70 days.
' But auditors could not mail that absentee ballot to a voter until 20 days - not the current 29 - from an election, with few exceptions.
' Most mail ballots would have to be received by county election officials by the time polls close on Election Day. Currently, they are counted if they are postmarked in time but arrive a few days later.
' Allows but does not require counties to have one box for voters to drop off absentee ballots.
Cuts poll hours
' While polls for city and school elections already close at 8 p.m., polls now stay open until 9 p.m. for general elections. The bill closes them at 8 p.m. also.
' An auditor could not provide a satellite voting location unless asked.
' Elected auditors who willingly neglect complying with some of the requirements could be charged with a Class D felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine up to $10,245.
Sources: Associated Press, Iowa Legislative Service Agency, texts of SF 413 and HF 590.