There have been a lot of distortions and misunderstandings regarding my Election Integrity proposal. My job is to make it easy to vote, but hard to cheat. That’s what this proposal accomplishes.
The Election Integrity Act is not a photo ID mandate. Registered voters who do not already have an Iowa driver’s license or state-issued ID will be provided with a free voter ID card in the mail, automatically. It does not require a picture, additional documentation, or travelling to the DMV to obtain.
This legislation also does not change Iowa’s voter registration process. Election Day voter registration continues under my proposal.
College students can register to vote using the exact same opportunities currently available. Iowa law requires Election Day registrants to show proof of identification and proof of residency, but the ID cards must contain an expiration date. Student voters will be treated just like every other Iowan. If they need a voter ID card, we will supply them with one, for free.
I am proud of Iowa’s record of clean and fair elections, and I intend to keep them that way. One instance of voter fraud is one too many. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall once wrote that every voter has a right under the Constitution to have his vote fairly counted, without it being distorted by fraudulently cast votes.
Election integrity is about much more than preventing fraud. We also need to reduce human error and instill confidence in our electoral process. One way to do that is by upgrading technology through electronic poll books. This will improve the voters’ experience and maintain the integrity of their vote.
Both Republican and Democratic officials have supported the implementation of electronic poll books statewide. 72 of Iowa’s 99 counties already utilize them. Scanning ID cards through the poll books quickly facilitates voter verification, eliminates the need for cumbersome paper registers, shortens lines at the polls, and greatly reduces the chances of voter or poll worker errors.
My efforts to increase voter participation include the Iowa College Voter Engagement Drive, MyIowaVote.com, the Iowa Youth Caucus, the Helping Veterans and Iowans with Disabilities Vote initiative, and other methods. We have a record high of more than 2,048,000 million active registered voters in Iowa. I will continue to work to grow that number, without sacrificing integrity. Voter participation and voter integrity are not mutually exclusive. This proposal helps us improve both.