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by Ken Rizer State Representative · March 9th, 2017


Iowans should have confidence in their elections. Measures should be in place to assure participants that our system is fair, clean, and doesn't disenfranchise eligible voters. The Election Modernization and Verification Act gives Iowans those assurances. House Republicans have been working with Secretary of State Paul Pate on improvements to Iowa's election process. These improvements include: voter verification, streamlining the process to make voting easier, make it harder to cheat, and not turning anyone away from the polls.

This week the State Government Committee passed the Election Integrity and Modernization Act. This legislation requires all voters to present a government-issued identification at their polling location. These forms of IDs include:

Iowa driver's license

Iowa non-operator ID

US Passport

Military or Veteran ID

Voter Identification card issued by the commissioner of elections.

Voters who do not have an approved ID, will be provided one free of charge by the Secretary of State or the County Auditor. Iowa would join 34 other states who already have voter verification measures in place. No one will be turned away from voting. If a voter does not have the necessary documentation, they can cast a provisional ballot and will receive a letter before leaving the polling place that clearly states what they need for their ballot to be counted.

The Election Modernization and Integrity bill supports the use of e-poll books to modernize and streamline the voting process at polling locations. E-poll books take the guess work and human error out of the process and simplifies the process for both voters and poll workers.

Additionally, straight-party voting is removed from Iowa ballots. Straight party voting disenfranchises independent candidates, can create confusion for voters, and only nine other states currently provide the option.

A recent Des Moines Register poll found that 69 percent of Iowans believe a government-issued ID should be presented in order to vote. Clearly this is a common sense approach for ensuring the integrity of our elections. This bill will make it easier to vote, harder to cheat, and nobody is turned away.

The e-poll book technology, already in use in 72 of our 99 counties, will make voting as easy as going through the express line at Hy-Vee. This is a good bill that will make our election system the best in the country. I am proud to be at the forefront, supporting this legislation.

There will be a public hearing on Monday, March 6, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Room 103 of the Capitol. If you would like to speak at the hearing you can sign-up at https://legis.iowa.gove/committees/publicHearings?action=viewOnlineSignup&meetingID=25098.

It will also be live streamed for those who cannot attend in person. It's a great honor to serve the people of Marion, Bertram, Ely and the surrounding parts of Linn County. If you'd like to meet, discuss an issue, or visit the Capitol please call me at 319-651-7316 or email me at ken.rizer@legis.iowa.gov.
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