GOP bill would deny Secretary of State’s procedures, kick voters off the roles, and increase voter ID laws

DES MOINES — Last Tuesday, nearly 25% of registered voters in Iowa cast a ballot in the primary election. The record setting turnout reflects the will of the majority of Iowans: to be able to safely vote from home during a global pandemic. In response, Senate Republicans have introduced a bill to drastically limit voter participation for the general election. 

“This bill is nothing more than a 30-page outline on voter suppression,” said IDP Communications Director Mandy McClure. “Last week, Iowans proved their overwhelming support for voting-from-home in record numbers. And instead of listening to their constituents, Senate Republicans are using their power to limit Iowans’ voices. No one should be forced to risk their life to vote, and Democrats will keep fighting so that all Iowans can safely exercise their right to vote in November.”

Here’s a look at what Iowa Republicans are trying to avoid:

Secretary of State Paul Pate: “The level of civic engagement among our citizens is unrivaled. … Despite an ongoing pandemic and civil unrest across the state, Iowans were determined to make their voices heard the best way possible: by voting. … Despite unprecedented obstacles, it was a smooth and secure election.”

The Hill: “But more strikingly, of the roughly 524,000 votes cast, some 411,000 of them came from absentee ballots – a nearly 1,000 percent increase over 2016 levels.”

Bloomfield, IA voter: “It doesn’t make any difference to me either way. As long as my vote counts, I don’t care. I liked this better.”

Woodbury County Auditor Pat Gill: “The majority party in the legislature believes that it benefits the minority party by voting by mail. That certainly isn’t true here in Woodbury County and it isn’t really true statewide. It’s just the Secretary of State took great action to mail those to every active voter.”

Des Moines Register: “The new mode of voting benefited voters with disabilities. Brooks Schooley, who normally would need help from her son to walk into the polling location, was able to drive through and vote while her son was at baseball practice. ‘This way, I could do it myself,’ Schooley said.”

NBC/WSJ Poll: “Two-thirds of voters back vote-by-mail in November 2020”