Voter ID legislation advances - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Voter ID legislation advances

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A bill moving through the Iowa legislature, which would require Iowans to show identification in order to vote, could pose some potentially big changes for Iowa voters. 

House Study Bill 93 proposed by Secretary of State Paul Pate is designed in order to prevent voter fraud. 

The bill would also reduce the number of days you can vote early, from 40 down to 29. Other possible changes include getting rid of straight ticket voting and closing the polls one hour earlier. 

One of the concerns over this proposed bill is limiting access to voting for certain people, discriminating against those with disabilities, minorities or the elderly-who have a tougher time getting a proper identification. 

Voting in the next election-may not be as simple as walking in to a polling location. This law would require voters to present a valid-government issued identification-meaning a driver's license, state ID or military ID in order to vote.

Critics say this will drive down voter turnout and create extra obstacles for those eligible to vote. However, there are some on both sides of the fence. 

Voter Sandra Brucher, who is elderly and still has a valid driver's license, says it's a no-brainer. 

"We use our ID's for everything else, like getting on an airplane or going to a doctor's office you show a picture ID," said Brucher. "I don't have a problem with showing it to vote."

Secretary of State Paul Pate says in this past general election, there were only ten cases of potential fraud out of more than one and a half million votes cast.

Buchanan County auditor Cindy Goose says her hands are ultimately tied to what the legislature decides.

"I don't feel it's (voter fraud) a problem in Iowa," said Goose. "We have a lot of checks and balances to our process."

However, Goose but says some of the changes could present an obstacle. One of which, would mean poll workers can challenge voters if they don't look like the photo on their ID card,or their signatures don't quite match up. 

"I think it would be very difficult," said Goose. "I have 120 election board workers. I'm a medium sized county. To train all those election workers to be signature specialists would be very difficult."

The bill has critics, like the American Civil Liberties Union, who says this could cause big problems for the  "voting rights of African-Americans, the elderly, and people with disabilities."

The legislation was approved in a subcommittee and now heads to a full committee.

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