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Iowa’s New Voter Identification Law

September 7, 2017
by Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

With local elections just around the corner, everyone needs to be aware of the new voter identification law. On May 5 of this year, then Governor Terry Branstad signed the new voter identification bill into law and as of July 1 there are a few minor changes.

First, voters who are not registered in the precinct where they live will need to provide proof of residence, such as an electrical bill with their name and address on it, as well as identification, when they vote at the polling place.

Secondly, Attesters who vouch for persons registering and voting on Election Day must show an ID to verify they live in the precinct where the new voter is casting a ballot. Voters who register and vote on Election Day must show proof of residency that is current within 45 days. Acceptable forms include a current lease, utility bill, bank statement, etc.

Finally, voters who register and vote on Election Day at polling places that do not have electronic poll books will cast provisional ballots. These voters do not have to return to the auditor's office with additional documentation after they cast their ballots.

Beginning December 2017 the Secretary of State's office will begin sending out voter ID cards to register voters who do not have an Iowa driver's license or a non-operator's ID. The Secretary of State's office will look at the list of registered voters and compare it to a list of IDs issued by the Department of Transportation. These cards are free and will be issued automatically.

A soft rollout of the voter ID law will begin January 1, 2018. Voters will be asked to show their ID before voting at the polls. Anyone who does not have the necessary ID will be asked to sign an oath verifying his or her identity, and will be allowed to cast a regular ballot. No one will be turned away just because they do not have a state issued ID.

At this time, county auditor's will issue the Voter ID Card to anyone they determine does not have the appropriate ID card.

Beginning January 1, 2019, voters will be required to show a driver's license, non-driver's ID, passport, military ID, veteran's ID or Voter ID Card before they vote. Voters without and ID may cast a provisional ballot or have another register voter attest to their identification.

Voter registration is not affected by this new law. There are multiple ways to register to vote, including at the polls on Election Day and online. If anyone has any questions regarding this new law, you may call the Palo Alto County Auditor at 712-852-2924 or contact the Secretary of State's office at 515-281-5204 or go to their website at sos.iowa.gov.

 
 
 

 

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