Iowa Secretary of State proposes voter ID Bill

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January 28, 2012

By Greg Janetka

Iowa

OTTUMWA, Iowa: Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz (R) held a press conference on January 26 to propose a new Voter Identification Bill. Under the bill all voters would have to present photo identification in order to vote. Criticism of the bill has come from both sides of the aisle, with many characterizing it as a solution for a non-existant problem.[1]

A number of states passed stricter Voter ID laws in 2011. At least one of those, in South Carolina, was rejected by the U.S. Department of Justice.[2] Proponents of such laws argue that requiring photo identification reduces the chances of voter fraud, while opponents say it discriminates against voters who do not have photo IDs and acts more as a voter suppression measure.

In pressing for the bill in Iowa, Schultz stated, "We are seeing our elections getting closer and closer and so its a you know we want to make sure that we don’t have a situation that comes up where people are cheating and it is found out and it sways an election." He acknowledged, however, that he is not aware how common voter fraud is in the state.[3] Last year a similar bill was passed by the House but died in the Senate.[4]

Schultz was first elected in 2010 and made voter ID a key issue of his campaign. He will be up for re-election in 2014.

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