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ALEC Attacks! Will Iowa Have A Voter ID Law?

I just got an email from my county party leader that SOS Matt Schultz will be following the ALEC lead and propose the Voter Photo ID bill for Iowa. This is one of ALEC model legislation bills aimed at supressing voter turnout. As many know the lower the voter turnout, the better the chances Republicans will win. That is because Democrats tend to be less reliable voters. If they can be discouraged in any way, then that lowers the possibility they will vote.

So the email contained a response from the Iowa Democratic Party

Voter ID’s hidden costs would pile up

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz has introduced a new voter ID bill, which would enact unnecessary barriers to voting and potentially cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

“Voter fraud is not and never has been a problem in Iowa, this latest bill is just as misguided and unnecessary as previous attempts in the state,” said Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Sue Dvorsky. “While it’s easy for Secretary Schultz to downplay the cost of this restrictive law in a press conference, he’s ignoring the hidden costs that taxpayers will needlessly be stuck with.”

During today’s press conference Schultz said there would only be a “nominal” cost for printing flyers, which would be the only method of educating voters about the change in Iowa law. This ignores the fact that similar bills have cost other states millions to implement.

In Wisconsin, for example, where Republicans passed a similar law last year, it is estimated to cost taxpayers nearly $6 million. Those costs include a substantial education program, $2 million to cover additional employees at the Department of Transportation and the cost of free IDs, and over $1.6 million to re-issue student IDs that do not comply with the new law.

Iowa would likely see many of these same costs. Under the new voter ID bill, college and university IDs are only valid if they include an expiration date, something that is not standard practice in the state and would require that IDs be updated before they are valid. During the press conference even Secretary of State Schultz admitted that he did not know how many Iowans do not have an ID to vote or how many would seek a free ID under this proposal.

Secretary Schultz also failed to address the difficulty some Iowans may have in obtaining a free ID. If someone does not have an ID already, they would need to provide identification like a birth certificate or passport – both of which would not be free – before receiving their ID to vote.

“It’s clear that there was very little thought given to the cost of this bill and its impact on voting in the state. We cannot waste millions of dollars that could otherwise be invested in education, infrastructure, or even programs to register more Iowans to vote,” added Dvorsky.

“Unfortunately, this is part of a larger campaign by Republican leaders to restrict voting and damage democracy across the country.”

IDP left out one important phrase “government agency issued photo ID.” For my disabled wife, this is a big deal if I were not available. Such IDs would need to be kept current. Since she can’t drive and the issuing offices are 30, 20, 25 and 40+ miles away it would be a major undertaking for her to keep such an ID up.

Schulz proposed this law last year and was taken to task by many Republican auditors. One such story was covered by blogforiowa last year.  At a board of supervisors meeting in Cerro Gordo County, county auditor Ken Kline was asked about the bill and replied:

“He [Kline] was asked by a constituent at a Board of Supervisors meeting what he thought of the proposed law.

“Am I opposed to it? No. But what problem are we solving?” asked Kline.

He said to his knowledge, Iowa never had a problem of someone voting in someone else’s place.”

So it is a solution looking for a problem that will waste a ton of money. All this just for Matt Schultz to curry favor with the filthy rich that run ALEC and the Tea Party. Look for a companion bill to suppress student voting if this one passes.

And the funny thing is that if you have already falsified your ID, a photo is not going to stop you from voting under that false ID. So it doesn’t even solve the problem it purports to.

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