A committee in the Iowa Senate has voted to allow Iowans to register to vote online by 2015. Officials say it’s a growing trend in other states to move beyond registering by mail or in person.
Senator Jeff Danielsen, a Democrat from Cedar Falls, says the potential voter would have to provide identifying information and meet eligibility standards. “We think that it’s time to allow this customer friendly process to happen in Iowa,” Danielson says.
The bill passed the Senate State Government Committee on a bipartisan vote, but some Republicans say the proposal needs additional security safeguards. Danielson says he’s open to that. Some community activists, for example, say they favor anything that makes it easier to vote.
Adel Republican Jake Chapman did not sign on. He says he’s looking for more security safeguards. Danielson says he’s not opposed to that. “There’s a potential for an amendment to sort out the mechanics of how the Secretary of State’s office will receive electronic signatures from the DOT, since they’re the largest agency in Iowa who has those,” Danielson says.
Iowa’s Republican secretary of state has suggested a signature verification system also would be useful to determine whether absentee ballots were cast by the voter named on the ballot.