Iowa’s Secretary of State says he is sending thousands of Iowans new state-issued voter indentification cards they’ll need at the polls starting next year.
It’s part of Iowa’s new voter identification law approved by the Republican controlled legislature and signed into law by Governor Terry Branstad. Secretary of State Paul Pate, a Republican, issued a recorded statement Monday saying the newly-designed state-issued cards are going out to 123,000 Iowans.
“It should be easy to vote but hard to cheat. And that’s what this new law ensures, ” Pate says. “We are taking the unprecedented step of mailing free voter ID cards automatically to every registered voter who doesn’t already have an Iowa driver’s license or non-drivers ID.”
Pate says the cards will be sent out starting this week. “I encourage them to be on the lookout for their voter ID cards in the mail. And when they receive their card, open it, sign it, and keep it. It’s that easy,” Pate says. Anyone who loses their new voter ID card will need to contact the county auditor. Critics say the law will make it harder to vote and voter fraud is rare.
A Secretary of State Spokesman says the mailing will be followed up with public information campaigns with both supporters and opponents of the new law. A government-issued ID will be required to vote starting next year.
Democratic Secretary of State candidate Jim Mowrer issued a statement predicting thousands of Iowans will have a more difficult time participating in the democratic process.