Government

State appeals voter ID injunction

Asks justices to reinstate shorter early voting period

The dome of the State Capitol building in Des Moines is shown on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)
The dome of the State Capitol building in Des Moines is shown on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — The Iowa Secretary of State’s office announced Friday it was appealing a Polk County District Court injunction that put on hold for now three key provisions of the state’s voter identification law.

“The injunction is in effect, but the Attorney General’s Office has filed applications for appeal and an emergency stay of the District Court order with the Iowa Supreme Court,” a joint statement from the Secretary of State’s and Attorney General’s offices said.

While a lawsuit against the 2017 law proceeds, a judge Wednesday ordered that parts of the measure be delayed until the fight is over. Under the injunction:

l The early voting period for the November midterm election is restored from 29 to 40 days.

l Absentee voters will not be required to provide an ID number on applications for ballots.

l County auditors will be barred from rejecting an absentee ballot if they believe a voter’s signature doesn’t match the signature on record.

But voters going to the polls on Nov. 6 still would be required to show acceptable ID or sign an oath attesting to their identity.

The midterm elections are only about three months away. Some county auditors have expressed concerns over what such uncertainty in the election rules this late in the process could mean for voter turnout.

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