The League of United Latin American Citizens and Iowa State University student Taylor Blair are asking a Polk County District Court judge to strike down three parts of a law Republicans passed in 2017, including the requirement that voters show an ID at the polls. Attorney Bruce Spiva told the judge these provisions put burdens on the right to vote that outweigh any potential benefits
“The unjustified hurdles that HF 516 placed in front of the ballot box will disproportionately trip those voters who are young, voters who are elderly, poor, lacking in educational attainment, minorities, women, and Democrats,” Spiva said.
A lawyer for the state said these regulations are tailored to protect the integrity of Iowa’s elections and instill public confidence in the process. Matt Gannon is an assistant attorney general for the State of Iowa.
“They apply to all voters in a uniform and non-discriminatory manner and are properly tailored to advance legitimate state interests,” Gannon said.
The trial is expected to last two weeks.
Another judge in another Polk County District Courtroom heard arguments about a law passed on the last day of the 2019 legislative session. The law gives the governor authority to name another member to the 17-member commission that nominates candidates for openings on the Iowa Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.
A group of Democratic lawmakers argues Republicans are trying to stack the deck for Republican Governor Kim Reynolds. An assistant attorney general argued in court yesterday that the state constitution gives G-O-P lawmakers authority to change the make-up for the commission.
(Thanks to Iowa Public Radio’s Katarina Sostaric and Grant Gerlock)