A bill that would require all voters in Iowa to show a photo I.D. before casting a ballot has gone through an initial review at the statehouse.
Representative Renee Schulte, a Republican from Cedar Rapids, says she’s seen voter fraud in Iowa.
“We had multiple felons voting in Cedar Rapids. I had multiple people vote whose addresses did not exist and people who did not exist in Linn County alone,” she says. “I don’t know why they would give you an address that doesn’t even exist but we had multiple times of that in 2008.”
Republican Matt Schultz, Iowa’s new secretary of state, made a photo I.D. requirement for voting the cornerstone of his campaign. The move has opponents, like the League of Women Voters. Amy Campbell, a spokewoman for the group, says many Iowans do not have a photo I.D.
“Twenty-five percent of African Americans do not have identification; 10 percent of people with disabilities and 15 percent of low-income individuals do not have I.D.s,” Campbell says.
The bill calls upon the state to issue free photo I.D.s to those who don’t have a driver’s license or a passport.
A three-member subcommittee reviewed the legislation Wednesday. It must clear the Iowa House and Senate before it could reach the governor for his approval, but clearing the state Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, is unlikely as Democrats say the bill is an effort to prevent people from voting.