Changes to Iowa Election Law Are Being Rolled Out

Jan 10, 2018

The Iowa Secretary of State’s office is beginning what it calls a “soft rollout” of recent changes to the election law. The changes include the implementation of voter ID.

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate announcing the "Voter Ready" initiative.
Credit Madeleine McCormick / Iowa Public Radio

Secretary of State Paul Pate is launching an outreach program he calls “Voter Ready.” A requirement that voters present an ID at the polls went into effect the first of January. Pate’s office has budgeted $700,000 for the rollout of changes, which he says is plenty given the number of Iowans who are already registered to vote.

“We have 93 percent of our voters in the game," Pate says. "They already have their driver’s license. We have one of the highest voter participation rates in the country.”

During 2018, poll workers will ask voters for a driver’s license or any other form of identification such as a U.S. passport. But he says no eligible voter will be turned away.

“If you do not have an ID, you will still be allowed to cast a regular ballot after signing an oath swearing to your identity," Pate says. "Or you can utilize an attester, a registered voter in that precinct who can vouch for your identity.”

Pate is hitting the road over the next month to educate voters about the changes in the election law.