Governor Tom Vilsack opposes a Republican-crafted bill that would impose new restrictions on absentee voting. Vilsack says he’s not interested in anything that’d restrict voting.Vilsack says the U.S. is engaged in Iraq to promote democratic principles, and he says it seems to him “we ought to be doing everything we can to promote democracy in our own country.” Vilsack says he has very strong concerns about shifting responsibility for oversight of elections to the Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, a state agency he says it not accountable “at the ballot box” like the Secretary of State’s office is. The bill that passed the House and is pending in the Senate shifts election oversight away from Secretary of State Chet Culver, who like Vilsack is a democrat. Vilsack says the bill “sends the wrong message at the wrong time.” Vilsack says he hopes legislators address his concerns and amend the bill so he can sign it into law. Other parts of the bill help Iowa qualify for over 30-million dollars in federal money to buy new voting machines and train poll workers.
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