Paul Pate

We’re less than two weeks away from Election Day and Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate is reminding voters they’ll need identification when heading to the polls for city and school board elections on November 5th.

Pate says last year’s soft rollout of the Voter ID program was successful. “Voters got it. We had a record voter turnout and so going into this cycle, we just want to make sure the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed and that people get the gist of it,” Pate says. “Bring your driver’s license or you can get your free Voter ID card from your county auditor.”

Other forms of ID that will be accepted include: a U.S. passport, a military or veteran’s ID, and a Tribal ID card. Pate says 94% of the Iowans who are registered to vote have a driver’s license they can use as at the polls. If you don’t have a driver’s license and you haven’t received a voter ID card, Pate says one call should fix you up.

“If they’re already registered, it’s real simple,” he says. “They just need to call the county auditor and they’ll take care of it for them.”

Voter ID laws have been a political issue for years, but Pate argues it brings integrity to our state’s elections. “You don’t put a new lock on the house after the burglar steals something from your home, so when it comes to Voter ID, it’s a natural protection,” Pate says. “I’m very proud to be able to tell people in Iowa, we’ve got your back covered when it comes to the integrity of our elections.”

A Polk County judge recently upheld a majority of the state’s Voter ID law, stating that the requirement for voters to show identification at the polls does not violate the state’s constitution.

“The judge came down with his ruling and he indicated that Voter ID was the law of the land,” Pate says. “Out of 35 pages, he had five sentences removed, so I think that’s pretty clear and so we are ready to operate on that.”

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(By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City)