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UNDERSTANDING IOWA’S NEW VOTER LAWS

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Iowa will become the 34th state to require its voters show some form of ID before voting when a bill passed earlier this year goes into full effect.  In Iowa, voter IDs will not be required until January 1, 2018. However, here is a list of other changes that may affect how you vote in this November's city and county elections.

  • Voters who are not registered to vote in the precinct where they live will need to show proof of residence, as well as identification, when they vote at the polling place.  

  • Someone who vouches for a person registering and voting on Election Day must show an ID and must 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 (like a current lease or a recent utility bill).  While new voters have always had to show proof of residency, they could bring in older documents.

  • Voters who register and vote on Election Day at polling places that do not have electronic pollbooks will cast provisional ballots. These voters do not have to return to the auditor’s office with additional documentation after they cast their ballots.  This is an additional step to give auditors time to confirm the voter is eligible to vote, something electronic pollbooks can do at the polling site.  

Right now Iowa's voter ID laws are going through the rules writing process.  After laws are passed, state agencies must write rules to explain how they are going to implement the laws.  In this case, the Secretary of State has filed rules for consideration and they are currently out for public comment.

  • You can read rule changes requested by the Secretary of State here and the Voter Registration Commission here.  
     
  • Iowans can comment on these proposed rules until September 19, 2017.  Written suggestions or comments should be sent to:  Eric Gookin, Election Administrator, Office of the Secretary of State, First Floor, Lucas State Office Building, Des Moines, Iowa 50319.  You can also call and leave comments at: (515) 281-0145.
  • A public hearing on the rules will be held on October 16, 2017 at 3 p.m. at the Secretary of State’s Office on the first floor of the Lucas State Office Building, 321 East 12th Street, Des Moines, Iowa. 

Stay tuned to infonetiowa.org - we will post the comments submitted by the Iowa DD Council when they are finalized, and provide a review of the proposed rules.  In addition, ID Action will continue to provide training opportunities on these news laws once the rules that implement them are finalized.  If you have any questions about how the new voter changes may impact you, contact your county auditor or the Secretary of State:

  • Click here to contact your county auditor.
  • Call the Secretary of State's "Voter Hotline" at 888.SOS.VOTE (888.767.8683) or emailing sos@sos.iowa.gov.