Voter ID and the 2018 election

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Adam Kenworthy chairs the Iowa lawyer chapter of the American Constitution Society. -promoted by desmoinesdem

This post was originally supposed to be about Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate’s new FAQ page on the changes to Iowa’s voting law.

However, the Secretary of State’s Office just released a statement regarding its first round of mailings for Voter ID cards, and the more pressing issue is for all of us to be clear about what we need to do in 2018.

Here is what we need to know for the 2018 election: NO ID is REQUIRED. You will be asked to provide a photo ID, but if you don’t have one you can sign an attestation and vote a regular ballot. This DOES NOT mean that voters should refuse to bring or show an ID at the polls, because doing that will only gum up the process for everyone. Our goal needs to be to limit the time it takes to vote, and to limit confusion.

The ID provision of the new law does not go into effect until January 1, 2019. For 2018, the Secretary of State’s office is calling it a “soft” roll out, which is just a process to help push more confusion.

I may write a more lengthy post on the absurd propaganda piece that is the secretary of state’s FAQ page at a later date. But for now, let’s be clear and concise in what needs to be done and communicated. You don’t need the ID mailed by the secretary of state for 2018. So the important thing to remember is that no one be can turned away for lack of ID next November. But make sure to bring ID if you have it. Again, we want the process to move quickly at the polls.

What we

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