When the COVID-19 pandemic reached the U.S., Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate made a very wise decision. Pate chose to send absentee ballot request forms to every registered voter in Iowa so they could safely participate in the then coming June 2 primary. This no doubt saved many lives and led to the biggest primary turnout ever in Iowa.
Now that the legislature is back in session, one of the first things the majority Republican Party wants to do is to tie Pate’s hands from doing this again for the general election. Republicans know that they need to stop people from voting to win. Encouraging citizens to vote will be bad for Republicans.
In a healthy democracy it is everyone’s duty to vote and it should be every public official’s duty to promote the public’s participation. Instead the Republican Party wants to suppress voters with laws that began back to Jim Crow Laws of the 1960s that discouraged voters who were black or poor.
It should come as little surprise that the person picked to shepherd this voter suppression bill through the Iowa House is our own Bobby Kaufmann. With his father as chair of the state Republican Party, young Kaufmann knows what is at stake here. He doesn’t trust Iowa voters. In turn, Iowa’s voters should not trust Kaufmann to stand up for them!