Iowa College Republicans were handing out free cupcakes at the statehouse today — under one condition.
Legislators and anyone else in the capitol who wanted a cupcake had to show a valid photo I.D. to get it. The event was designed by the College Republicans to showcase a proposal from Republican Secretary of State Matt Schultz. He wants legislators to pass a bill requiring voters to show a photo I.D. before they can cast a ballot. Iowa Federation of College Republicans chair Natalie Ginty, a student at the University of Iowa, says their cupcake experiment proved showing a photo I.D. to vote isn’t that onerous.
“I mean, yes, we’re in the Iowa capitol,” Ginty said. “But I guarantee going around the state of Iowa you can go around and do it at your local election place and it will not be a problem.”
A few people in the capitol who lined up for cupcakes tried to show the photo I.D. issued to those who have a security pass to enter the statehouse after hours, but Ginty says that wasn’t valid.
“A couple of state legislators had to go back to their desk and grab their wallet…because the state I.D. didn’t work…because it has no expiration date, but a driver’s license does work. A passport works,” Ginty says. “You have to show an I.D. to go on a plane. You have to show an I.D. to get Social Security benefits. You have to show an I.D. to get your food stamps. There’s really no reason…that you cannot show it to go vote.”
Critics say there’s no evidence voter fraud is a problem in Iowa and the bill could prevent some senior citizens, low-income Iowans and even nuns from voting because they don’t have cars and, therefore, don’t have a driver’s license as a photo I.D.