AARP Iowa and the Latino Political Network are offering a nonpartisan effort to inform Iowa’s voters who are 50 and older, as well as the Latino population, about changes to the state’s voting laws.
AARP Iowa state director Brad Anderson says the two organizations are launching a statewide tour next week to help voters understand some of those changes. “While there are some new laws, our message is pretty simple,” Anderson says. “Early voting has started and voting in Iowa is still very easy to do, so we’re encouraging everyone to get out there and do it.” Anderson says one of the questions that’s being frequently asked is about the elimination of straight-party voting.
“You are going to have to vote for each individual candidate,” he says. “We want to make sure that people avoid confusion there. I know there’s been a lot of questions at the county auditor’s office about, ‘Where did straight-party voting go?’ That was part of this new law, with it eliminating straight-party voting.” Anderson says since there’s been a lot of talk in the news about Voter ID, that’s also led to a lot of confusion.
“While you don’t need an ID for this election and you can just sign an affidavit, you will need your ID moving into 2019,” he says. “We also want to answer any questions about Voter ID and whether or not you need an ID to vote.” Anderson says the majority of Iowans voting are over the age of 50.
“The last midterm election in 2014, the 50-plus community represented 64-percent of the electorate. In the presidential election in 2016, the 50-plus community represented 55-percent of the electorate,” he says. “Whether it’s a midterm or a presidential election, the 50-plus community is the largest voting block in Iowa, so obviously that’s a community that AARP is very focused on. But it’s not just the 50-plus community, everyone needs to know that there are some new voting laws on the books.”
Events will be held on Tuesday in Mason City and Marion, Wednesday in West Des Moines and Shenandoah, and Thursday in Bettendorf. Registration is required by calling 877-926-8300, or you can find a link to the online event registration at https://states.aarp.org/events-ia/
(By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City)