Voter ID bill passed today will hurt voters/voting
In response to the voter ID bill being passed by the Iowa Senate and now heading to Gov. Terry Branstad’s office to be signed into law, we are issuing the following statement. It can be attributed to Rita Bettis, ACLU of Iowa Legal Director:
“It is outrageous that Iowa legislators have passed the Secretary of State’s omnibus voter suppression bill. It includes measures calculated to harm voting in Iowa, including not only voter ID, but also unreliable and burdensome signature verification, cuts to early voting, and other provisions.
“Make no mistake: This is only the latest in a broad strategy to make it harder for qualified voters to vote and roll back decades of progress to expand participation in our elections by all eligible voters. Legislators have done so with the full knowledge that these laws will erect barriers to make it harder for people of color, senior citizens, and people with disabilities, in particular, to vote.
“During debate, legislators even rejected amendment after amendment that were proposed to soften the blow to voters. Those amendments would have permitted accepting other forms of ID—which they acknowledge are reliable—and left early voting in place. The amendments would have also kept an affidavit exception in place on a permanent basis.
“Legislators have passed this legislation all while acknowledging that Iowa has one of the best systems in the country for elections and that there is virtually zero voter impersonation fraud in our state. Rather, the only problem they claim to be solving is a perception—of their own making and which they state is not accurate—that there is a problem with voter fraud. And they have done so with the full knowledge that this outrageous voter suppression bill is expensive, and that we cannot afford it.
“This is nothing more than a cynical political ploy—a campaign talking point—that will harm Iowans’ ability to exercise the voting rights that they have under law.”
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