Changes under new Iowa voter ID law - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Changes under new Iowa voter ID law

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JOHNSON COUNTY (KWWL) -

With the state primary elections fast-approaching, Iowa voters will notice some changes at the voting booth.

Last year, then-Governor Terry Branstad signed a law requiring Iowa voters to show an ID before they cast a ballot. Voters may be relieved to know that there will be some leeway, as only portions of that law started to roll out at the beginning of this year, even though it won't go into full effect until 2019. 

At the beginning of the year, more than 123,000 state-issued voter ID cards were sent to every registered voter that didn't have a driver license on record with the Iowa Department of Transportation. 

"If you show up to the poll without an ID, you will still be able to vote but you'll have to sign an oath," Johnson County Auditor, Travis Weipert, said.

That oath is a verification that an individual is who they say they are.

"2019 is going to be the first year where an ID is going to be very critical," Weipert said.

At the voting booth, what will be expected as a valid ID is an Iowa driver's license, an Iowa non-driver's ID, a U.S. passport, a state-issued voter ID card, a U.S. military veteran's card, and a U.S. military ID.

An individual without a valid ID can do one of two things. First, they can bring someone along to attest their identity. That individual, however, is required to have a valid ID themselves. They would also be required to sign a document that acknowledges that providing false information is a felony, punishable by up to five years of jail time and a fine of at least $750. Another option is to prove your identity.  For example, an out-of-state driver's license and proof of residency, such as a utility bill.

Weipert said voters will also have the option to vote provisional but that ballot would only count if the vote can provide a valid ID by the Monday after the election.

Intended voters without a driver's license that have yet to receive a state-issued voter ID card should contact their local auditor's office.

This law also brings changes to absentee ballots.

"The absentee window has been shortened. We don't start voting until May 7th and 11 days before the election, you can't request, we can't mail out an absentee out to you. You will need to go to a satellite or an office," Weipert said.

The Johnson County Auditor's Office and Iowa City's City Channel 4 worked together to create a detailed informational video on every bit of information voters need to know about the new law. That video can be viewed here.

The office for Iowa's Secretary of State has unveiled a new website, VoterReadyIowa.org, which has a complete guide to being voter ready.

Iowa's primary election is on June 5.

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