Iowans who are voting today are not required to show a photo I.D., though the proposal has been a hot-button issue in our legislature and in several other states. Some say requiring voters to produce a photo I.D. would prevent fraud but others claim it’s discriminatory.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s not worried about rampant voter fraud in Iowa. “I don’t think it’s a major problem, but on the other hand, everybody getting on an airplane isn’t a terrorist but everybody has to show I.D.,” Grassley says.
“Surely, voting is at least as important as preserving the safety of getting on an airplane.” Five people have been arrested on voter fraud charges in Iowa in recent months. Two of them were felons who were registered to vote, two were from Canada and one was from Mexico.
Grassley, a Republican, says he doesn’t see what all the fuss is about with making a photo I.D. mandatory to prevent voter fraud. “Even though I say it may not be a major problem, what’s wrong with showing an I.D. when you go to vote?” Grassley asks.
“We don’t want to cut anybody who’s eligible to vote out of voting so let’s do everything we can to make sure people who don’t have a driver’s license have a voter I.D.” Grassley says when he voted in his native Butler County as a young man, he didn’t even have to register to vote, he’d just go to the polls. Requiring voters to register, he says, didn’t come along until the 1970s.
Earlier this year, Iowa’s Secretary of State checked driver’s license records from the Iowa D.O.T. and came up with a list of almost 3,400 people who had registered to vote but who may not have been legal voters.