Meeting Public Comments
Subcommittee meeting and times are as follows:
A bill for an act relating to elections, including political party caucuses and updates to the statewide voter registration system.(See HF 716.)
Subcommittee members: Kaufmann-CH, Boden, Harris, Nielsen, Wilson
Date: Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Time: 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
Location: House Lounge
Names and comments are public records. Remaining information is considered a confidential record.Comments Submitted:
Linda Stickle Stickle 
Getting ERIC out of Iowa politics is a very promising thing. It will bring sovreignty back to our elections. Many have been asking to remove us for years.
Vicki Aden 
Please stop this unnecessary bill that will further restrict who is able to participate in the caucuses. The legislature should be encouraging all Iowans to participate in the democratic process, not putting up additional barriers to that participation. Democracy is better when everyone participates. And shame on you for withdrawing Iowa from the ERIC system this was a valuable tool in keeping the voter rolls updated, something you purport to support. Your problem with this system seems to be they encourage states to reach out to unregistered voters to get them registered. Why are you afraid of encouraging people to vote?
Diane Holst 
Secretary of State Pates desire to leave ERIC has been announced. Please take steps to make this happen. The fact that Eric requires states to follow up on people that may be eligible to vote is not the roll of our election officials. ERICs responsibility of aiding in voter roll cleanup is not working, based on canvassing and database comparisons being done by citizens of Iowa, which I hope was the purpose of joining ERIC in the first place. Please move this bill forward.
David Nelson 
Please approve this legislation to leave ERIC.
David Nelson 
Please approve this legislation to leave ERIC.
Susan Frazer 
As multiple problematic issues comtinue to be exposed regarding ERIC, many states have withdrawn from this deceptive and defective system. Please vote to excise ERIC from the Iowa code.
Cindy Reel 
Please support this bill to remove our state from the ERIC system. We should not be putting our voter registration information and upkeep in the hands of a third party managed from out of state. Iowa needs to manage our voter rolls/registration instate, done by Iowans.I also wouldnt support jumping from this system to another of its type. Again, keeping our voter rolls clean and updated Should be done by Iowans IN Iowa.I recently read where Iowa just removed over 500,000 names from our voter rolls/registration. If this is true, and we had that many names that shouldnt have been in the rolls, then I dont see how anyone can think that ERIC was doing its job.
Kathryn Hove 
Please remove ERIC requirements from the Iowa Code. The requirement that eligible but unregistered individuals be recorded in the state voter registration system is government overreach on overdrive. It is not the job of election officials to round up potential voters, keep lists of them and contact them. There are people who choose, for religious or other reasons, to not register to vote and do not want to do so, and these people should not be put on a public list, which is big bad brother government, it seems, and privacy invasive. It is the job of election officials to manage a fair election process for those who choose to register to vote and election officials time should be freed from ERIC requirements to do their fair election jobs. Regarding the 70 day advance registration requirement to participate in a caucus, sadly this is needed to insure the integrity of the caucuses. As it is, a person can change party to participate in the opposing partys caucus for purposes of disruption and to vote for a candidate less desired by a majority of the opposing party, and then change ones registration again after the caucus is over. The 70 day requirement would slow down some of the gaming of the system and would also prevent caucus participation by those who decide to be residents of Iowa for 24 hours. Being from Eastern Iowa, I met a carload of people at a gas station who come to Iowa from Illinois to participate in the Iowa election process. Whether the people showed up at a caucus to participate, I do not know, but under current law, what would prevent them from declaring that they intendto be Iowa residents and participating in an Iowa caucus the day after coming to Iowa?Nothing now. That is why the 70 day advance registration is needed. Iowans want clean and fair caucuses, including me, which the State of Iowa cannot currently guarantee due to "24 hour residents." Stopping the ability to game the caucuses is essential.
Shannon Patrick 
This idea is poorly considered and should be abandoned. No database is perfect, but research has shown that the followup from ERIC has resulted in millions of Americans becoming registered to vote. Yes, participation requires Iowa to take actions, but those actions are explicitly designed to keep voter registration being used as a partisan tool. No party or politician who is seriously concerned with the integrity of voter registrations should withdraw from this service, regardless of what conspiracy theories may be circulating about it at the moment.I also oppose the change to caucuses as currently written. I could support the state running the caucuses as a proper election, but if it's going to leave it to the parties, then it should do so. Further, a third of Iowans are independents, and I see no legitimate reason to force them to decide which party, if either, they feel it is more important to join for so far in advance.
Diane Duncan-Goldsmith 
I am against H.S.B. 245. This bill strikes the wording of shall use information from The Electronic Registration Information Center to may use other entities to update information in the statewide voter registration system. As you know the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) helps organizations, including states, maintain their voter rolls by issuing reports on voters who may have moved either within the state or between member states, died, or potentially voted in two different states, requiring members to conduct list maintenance with that information. ERIC also requires states to contact those wouldbe voters who are not listed on voter rolls. Iowa recently withdrew as a member state; my guess is Iowa withdrew because ERIC required states to contact wouldbe voters who are not listed on voter rolls. Striking the requirement that the state registrar of voters must use ERIC to maintain voter rolls will only weaken democracy in Iowa and result in less accurate voting rolls.The bill requires a person voting at a precinct caucus to have been a member of the political party holding the caucus for the 70 days immediately preceding the caucus and to be physically present at the location of the precinct caucus. Why should how long someone has been a party member have anything to do with a persons eligibility to participate in a caucus?In a democracy I believe elected officials should do all they can to help citizens register to vote and participate in elections. This bill does just the opposite. The 70 day political party requirement along with the be physically present at the location of the precinct caucus only makes it more challenging for voters to be involved in the democratic process. Why put more restrictions on voters and why not use ERIC, a system which helps increase voter rolls and helps create more accurate voting rolls?I believe Republican legislators should help people vote and make it easier to participate in voting. Unfortunately this Republican sponsored bill, does just the opposite.
Michael Bayer 
RE: ERIC. There are many reasons to leave ERIC. 1) They are not transparent. Their membership agreement violates the transparency provisions of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). There are at least 4 federal lawsuits against states and DC because they will not make election information available because they claim it violates their membership agreement with ERIC. 2) ERIC is acting as a GOTV agent for Democrats. Recently emails have shown that ERIC has an NDA with CEIR to share personal information from the states. CEIR is a leftwing organization founded by David Becker. Reports are that ERIC passes voter rolls and DMV info to CEIR who filters it and passes it back to ERIC for dissemination to the states as an eligible but unregistered (EBU) list. The states are then required by their ERIC membership to contact 95% of the EBU's that ERIC (and CEIR) provided. 3) ERIC is ineffective as a voter roll cleanup tool. Iowa citizens working together have found more deceased voters on the rolls than ERIC.RE: IOWA CAUCUSES. With the DNC not recognizing the date of the Iowa Democrat party caucus, there is the possibility that the Democrats and Republicans would caucus on different dates. This may tempt some people to cross over and vote in the caucus of the opposite party to game the system. These rules 70 day preregistration and inperson caucus participation will help ameliorate that issue.
Loras Schulte 
Borrowing a concept from our Founding Fathers, I believe its selfevident that voting is the process by which, free men and women, legitimize government. It naturally follows then that elections must be open, honest and above reproach! Especially now, at a time when our Nation is struggling to maintain the Constitutional Republic established by the Founders. To that end, I cannot stress strongly enough how essential it is to the process of legitimate elections, that voter rolls be accurate and true! But as the five States who have already withdrawn from the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) have determined, that doesnt happen when a State is involved with ERIC.I sincerely request the Iowas Legislature continues down the path laid out by Secretary of State Paul Pate and approve this legislation.
Terese Grant 
I strongly object to this bill. I am particularly opposed to the changes proposed for Iowa's caucuses. The Legislature should not be determining how the caucus system is run in the state of Iowa. I also support Iowa's participation in ERIC which protects voters and keeps the voter rolls updated.
Janis Katsu 
I approve the proposal to leave the ERIC system. (Electronic Voter Information Center)! Most importantly, replace it with something reliable, transparent and a system that will clean up the overinflated rolls. The ERIC system was recently discovered to be a very corrupt system for keeping our voter rolls updated. Following are some of the issues surrounding ERICs failures: * It was Initially funded by George Soros (This in my mind raises a huge caution flag.)* Member States were lied to regarding its supposed ability to maintain voter rolls securely, * It provided unlawful transfer of sensitive, personal information to leftwing third party registration organizations. * Through ERIC, taxpayers are paying the costs to supply their own private data to liberal nonprofits who are not allowed under law to access such information. * These groups receiving personal information focus on eligible but unregistered voters in demographic blocs that traditionally favor Democratic ideologies. * It requires state tax dollars to be used to register targeted voters.* According to ERICs own website there are Fulltime staff that provide data warehousing services to members by: * 1. identifing inaccurate and outofdate voter registration records; * 2. identifing eligible, but unregistered voters; * 3. compiling voter roll data received from member States, * 4. matches that data against data from all the other member states; * 5. matches this data with social security death data; * 6. Identifies voters who have moved, * 7. voters who have died, * 8. voters with duplicate registrations within a states database. * Through the hard work of volunteers in Iowa, these tasks ARE NOT BEING ACCURATELY handled using the ERIC system. Numerous inaccuracies have been discovered in each of the categories listed above.ERIC poses a threat to our election system and I am very happy to see it GO!
Rafaela Cadena 
Removing ERIC will be the best start to ensuring election integrity in Iowa.
Bev Lloyd 
Please get rid of ERIC! In just a few hours, I found 69 names of people in our county who had moved away. I filed challenges and they were all removed. Citizen auditors can help with this with access to voter records.