Republican Secretary of State-elect Paul Pate says he hopes to have on-line voter registration available before the 2016 primaries.
That has raised some concerns among groups like the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa and Disability Rights Iowa, who say on-line voter registration is an important step, but requiring state-issued photo I.D. is unfair. The groups say doing so excludes many Iowans who are eligible to vote and that it must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Pate says he’s listening to their concerns. “These are all legitimate questions and I think we’ll put them on our top list to work on and get done,” Pate says. “But we don’t want to stop the momentum. Let’s keep going on what we can do today.” Pate says he will be open to suggestions. “We start with what we can do today and clearly we can do the driver’s license. So lets get that moving, but if we’re going to use that as one of the vehicles to move this along. Let’s make sure we don’t do it in a way that we can’t add things on,” Pate says.
The groups made their cases at a public hearing before the Voter Registration Commission set up by Secretary of State Matt Schultz. Pate takes over as Secretary of State and Commissioner of Elections on Thursday.