Activists at Statehouse Urge Gov. Branstad to Veto New Voter Suppression Bill

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  • David Vance

Today, local Common Cause activists delivered a petition to Gov. Terry Branstad at the Capitol urging him to veto a new voter suppression bill passed by the legislature. House File 516 requires voters to show specific forms of government-issued identification at the polls and will roll-back early voting opportunities.

“Gov. Terry Branstad should veto this bill which is a solution in search of a problem and one that will only make it harder for Iowans to exercise their right to vote,” said Allegra Chapman, Common Cause Director of Voting and Elections. “Best case scenario, the legislature votes to fund the free IDs and the administration and distribution of the IDs is handled flawlessly, and Iowans would be able to vote much as they did in the last election. But anything short of that best case scenario with this unnecessary voter ID law means Iowans are stripped of their right to vote.”

The new legislation would erect hurdles that will make it more difficult for many Iowans to cast a ballot. In the case of the voter ID requirement, fewer Iowans will be able to exercise their right to vote due to a legislative effort to address the nonexistent problems of in-person voter fraud. The bill states that free IDs will be provided but that is contingent on the appropriations process, so there is no guarantee. In Wisconsin, a similar promise went unfulfilled as thousands in the state were still waiting for their free IDs as Election Day came and went.