-Jeff Perkins, Associate Attorney
A person without a vote is a person without protection. Such was the thinking of Lyndon B. Johnson and every proponent of democracy before and after him.
In the wake of the amendments to the Iowa Code’s voter registration and election provisions taking effect, make sure to check the Secretary of State’s rather thorough list of FAQs explaining the implementation of the new measures.
The simplest takeaway is that a registered voter with a state ID/driver’s license will be fine showing up to their proper polling site with that in hand.
That leaves the big question on everyone’s mind of how one can vote without an Iowa ID/Driver’s License. This is an especially fair question for the state’s influx of new Iowans who rent and students amongst us who may not have switched their licenses.
Forms of ID that are acceptable on their own–aside from Iowa IDs/driver’s licenses–include military IDs, passports, veterans IDs, and the newly issued Voter ID Cards.
Voter ID Cards have been sent out by the Secretary of State free of charge to each registrant’s listed address if they have not appeared to have an Iowa ID/driver’s license in the state database. If such a registrant changes names, address, or party affiliation and they are reliant upon their Voter ID Card, then they should get a new one issued that reflects the change. That issuance is best handled by the County Auditor, which may run them a trip to the Auditor’s office or printing and mailing costs.
Now is as good a time as any to check in with the Secretary’s voter registration page to verify your status as a registered voter and your polling place. Those with Iowa IDs/driver’s licenses can update voter registration online, everyone else should submit their registration form to their respective County Auditor.
As for timing of implementation, the registered voters in the 2018 calendar year will be asked to show their ID at the polls, but they will not be barred or restricted from voting without an ID according to the Secretary. Importantly, anyone who does not have any of the above forms of ID will simply be asked to sign an oath verifying their identity and can still cast a regular ballot upon the issuance of that oath.
Come 2019, however, one form of the above IDs will be required. A voter without any form of the above IDs may have another voter attest to their identity on site or will have to vote on a provisional ballot thus facing the possibility of further scrutiny.
Any additional questions or action requests can be directed to the Secretary’s office (1-888-SOS-VOTE or email@example.com). Your local County Auditor’s office is a great resource for addressing any concerns as well. You can find your county listed here.