Iowa Voter ID Law
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Iowa Voter ID Law

“Hello, I’m here to vote.” “Great. Can I start by seeing your ID.” There are some major changes taking place
at election sites across Iowa. For the first time ever, you will now be required
to show a valid form of ID in order to vote. This change is coming in phases, so let’s
break it down. Beginning in 2018, you will need to show identification
at the polls. There are six different forms of valid ID. They are an Iowa driver’s license, an Iowa
non-operators’ ID, a military ID, a veterans ID, passport or a new state-issued voter ID
card. “Go ahead and scan your ID.” “I have my driver’s license, would that
work?” “Is it from the state of Iowa?” “Yeah.” “Perfect.” “Alright, can I take a look at it.” The Secretary of State issued and mailed out
over 120,000 state-issued voter ID cards for all registered voters who do not have an ID
issued through the Iowa Department of Transportation. If you did not receive a voter ID card, and
don’t have any of the other forms of identifications we listed, you need to contact your county
auditor. They can also assist you if you lost or misplaced
your ID card. Once you receive a voter ID card, sign it
and place it in a safe place. So what happens if you show up on election
day without an ID? In 2018, the voter ID law only takes partial
effect. During this year only, anyone without the
necessary identification will be asked to sign an oath verifying their identity. That person will still be allowed to cast
a regular ballot.” “Here’s your ballot. You can just take it over there, fill it out, and once you are done voting you can take it over to the tabulator and put your voted ballot in there.” The law takes full effect January 1st, 2019. Then, if voters don’t have a required form
of ID, they have a few options. First option is to bring an attester with
you, meaning a person to attest to the voter’s identity. An attester must be able to provide one of
the accepted forms of ID. By signing the document, the attester accepts that false information is a class “D” felony, punishable by potential jail time and a fine between $750 and $7,500. The second option is to provide proof of identity and proof of residency, the same as if registering to vote for the first time. Proof of identity can include an out-of-state
driver’s license, or an employer or student ID with an expiration date. Proof of residency is typically a utility
bill, lease or paystub. If neither of those options work, the voter
may cast a provisional ballot, which will only be counted if the voter can provide a
valid ID before the Monday after an election. We’ve gone over the different ways to vote in person, but absentee ballots will also now require an ID. Beginning in 2018, part of the request form
for an absentee ballot requires you to include a driver’s license or non-driver’s ID
number. Those with voter ID cards must include their
card’s four digit pin number. You can download the application for absentee
voting online, but it must be filled out and returned to your county auditor in order for
a ballot to be mailed to you. Or you can complete absentee voting in person
at your county auditor’s office during the allotted time period. Another change coming in 2018 is a shorter
window for absentee voting. The number of days to vote absentee in person
is now 29 days, which is condensed from the previous 40 day window. And if you are requesting to receive your
ballot by mail, the request form must be received by the county auditor’s office by the Friday,
eleven days before the election. When the request is for a general election,
it must be turned in by the Saturday, ten days before the election. It’s important that you be aware of these
deadlines in order to take advantage of absentee voting. These changes will impact all Iowans, so make
sure your voice is heard by understanding them in advance of the next election cycle. The Secretary of the State website lists all
election rules and deadlines. Just head to Another great resource is the Iowa State Association
of County Auditors. There you can find voting information, as
well as contact information for your local county auditor’s office. And if you need assistance with translation
services or have accessibility concerns, you can reach out to your county auditor to make
arrangements. By following these tips, you can be sure that
your voice is heard. Be informed, be prepared and participate.

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