Iowa Legislature Public Hearings


Public Hearings and times are as follows:

HF 516 - A bill for an act relating to the conduct and administration of elections, including voter registration, absentee voting, voter identity verification, signature verification, polling place prohibitions, commissioner duties and certifications, voter misconduct information and reporting, straight party voting, and post-election audits, creating an electronic poll book and polling place technology revolving loan fund, providing penalties, and including effective date and applicability provisions. (Formerly HSB 93)

Sponsored by the State Government Committee

Monday, March 6, 2017
7:00 PM (introductions begin)
8:30 PM (conclusion of the hearing)
RM 103, Sup. Ct. Chamber

Comments Received at Public Hearing (Date Published: 03/08/2017)
03-01-2017
CHRIS J ROLWES []
CON
This isn't needed. If anything, we should be making it easier for people to vote. There is little or no fraud in Iowa at this time. Please listen to your county auditors. We have serious problems in this state that need attention, such as water quality, and you are wasting precious time on something that just isn't a problem. Please kill this bill.
03-01-2017
LISA BUNN [Indivisible Iowa SD 46 HD 91]
CON
Another ridiculous and unnecessary piece of legislation. Listen to county auditors the ones that know the truth about our elections. They have submitted as a whole as against this bill. Our own county auditor adamantly states that our voting process is accurate. They run tests continually. This will cost the state unnecessary money. Money that we do not have. What this bill truly does is prohibit less fortunate citizens from obtaining the necessary documentation THUS controlling who votes.
03-01-2017
Sarah Garvin [Indivisible HD91/SD46]
CON
ACLU Iowa, the Iowa State Association of County Auditors, and the League of Women Voters of Iowa all oppose this bill.Secretary Pate stated that Iowa holds among the most honest, wellrun elections in the country. Thus, I do not understand why there is any question about the integrity of our election process. Do our current elected officials feel they were illegitimately voted into office in Novemeber? Additionally, in 2014 The Washington Post reported the results of a comprehensive investigation that found 31 credible counts of fraud among 1 BILLION VOTES since the year 2000. ONE BILLION VOTES. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/08/06/acomprehensiveinvestigationofvoterimpersonationfinds31credibleincidentsoutofonebillionballotscast/?utmterm=.5698f96aa2c9).As our State budget faces numerous shortfalls, I wonder how any voter ID program will be funded. Buying the additional computers and technology needed, conducting voter education, providing the actual IDs, and other voter ID expenses will cost far more than the $1.5 million the Secretary of State projected in year one alone. The ISACA found that Indiana spent $10 million just on providing free IDs over three years; the cost of outreach, education, and litigation drives costs even higher. Seriously, how will a NEW program be funded?I urge legislators to consider whether voter fraud is *actually* a SIGNIFICANT problem here in Iowa and to consider how tax payers are supposed to pay for a voter ID program in the current fiscal climate.
03-02-2017
Cynthia Steflik [Indivisible Iowa SD 42 HD 83, 84]
CON
Opposed to this bill. It is merely a ploy to increase voter suppression. There is no known significant voter fraud in Iowa. It is a waste of time and a waste of Taxpayer hard earned $$.
03-02-2017
Gary Leffler [Citizen]
PRO
I am for voter identification
03-02-2017
Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel [One Iowa]
CON
If this bill becomes law, it will have a chilling effect on transgender voters in Iowa. It will cultivate an environment that would not only make it difficult for many transgender Iowans to vote, but potentially dangerous as well.According to the National Center for Transgender Equalitys National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 40 percent of transgender citizens who are publicly out as transgender do not have a drivers license that accurately reflects their gender, and 74 percent do not have an updated U.S. passport. Those are two of the most common photo identification documents that would be accepted at the polls under this law. The bill also includes language specifying that a voter can be challenged at the poll if they dont resemble the photo on their ID document. This is especially troubling because discrimination against transgender citizens when presenting identification that doesnt accurately reflect their gender is pervasive in our country. When presenting identification that didnt accurately reflect their gender, many transgender respondents to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey reported being harassed (41%), being asked to leave the venue where they presented the identification (15%), and being assaulted or attacked (3%).It can be incredibly difficult, and in fact impossible in some cases, for transgender Iowans to obtain identity documents that accurately reflect their gender due to expense, lack of knowledge of the complex process, and inconsistency in policy between states. By requiring these documents at the polls, this bill could subject transgender Iowans to undue scrutiny and potential discrimination.This bill would erect dangerous and unnecessary roadblocks for transgender Iowans trying to exercise their right to vote. One Iowa condemns it, and we hope Iowas legislature will as well.
03-02-2017
Cindy Riley []
CON
Please do not waste my hard earned tax dollars on this unnecessary legislation. Where have the fiscally responsible government officials gone?
03-02-2017
Mary Kay Pence []
CON
Please kill this bill. This is a waste of taxpayer's money and legislator's time discussing this bill to fix problems that do not exist. Instead we should be looking for ways to encourage voting and making it easier to vote.
03-02-2017
Anonymous []
CON
County auditors have said this bill is unnecessary. The ACLU reports that it would disenfranchise 11% of Iowans. At a time when we are cutting mental health, social services, and education, why are we implementing an expensive law to solve a nonexistent problem?
03-02-2017
Anonymous []
CON
This is just a stupid idea. Waste of taxpayer dollars and time.......it is just not needed.
03-02-2017
Anonymous [(resident of Ames, IA)]
CON
I advocate that we do NOT require voter ID. Iowa does NOT have a current problem with voter fraud, and requiring voter ID would cause undue hardship and would disproportionately impact Iowans of color, Iowans with disabilities, and elderly Iowans. That is unacceptable.
03-02-2017
Nancy and Dale Hanaman []
CON
We are against this proposed voter ID legislation. As precinct election officials in Greene County, we are well trained by the county auditor staff and are instructed to ask for sufficient identification from voters. With little if any voter fraud in Iowa, thislegislation is not needed to provide for honest electionsl
03-02-2017
Farah Marklevits []
CON
Iowa and Iowans do a fantastic job of holding fair and free elections already. The system ain't broke. This is needless legislation.
03-02-2017
John Cook []
CON
This is an unneeded and costly bill. Our current system of voting works well. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
03-02-2017
Anonymous [ICCI]
CON
Attachment
03-02-2017
Kent Morris []
CON
This is nonissue driven by the National Republican party. I can only assume Republicans believe it's an issue to give them an advantage over Democrats.Not an Iowa issue.Waste of time that could be better spent on more important issues such as fixing Branstad's Mental Health/Medicaid mess.Other wasted time* Increased speed limits* Requiring University employees to disclose political affiliation.* Distracted driving. An important issue to address, but meaningless without more law enforcement personnel.
03-02-2017
Alene Rickels []
CON
I am supporting my county auditor who is against this bill. I don't want the taxes I pay to go towards spending money on something that does not need fixing. Please use my tax money to benefit people, not hinder voters.
03-02-2017
Susan Herbers Meenan [Proud Member of ICCI ]
CON
I am against this bill which would create obstacles for some people to register to vote, specifically low income and elderly people.
03-02-2017
Anonymous [home owner]
CON
This is silly and a waste of time, energy, and money. Discuss things that are truly going to help ALL IOWANS not just a select few. This is seriously so retro that it made us laugh when we read it. Get to work and stop the frivolous actions!
03-02-2017
Irene Raby []
CON
It is difficult enough for many people who are qualified voters to get out and vote even with the hours we currently have. Cutting those hours will make it even more difficult for those who work long hours and who have childcare duties. Also, forcing voters to show a photo ID cuts down on those voters (often the disabled and/or poor and/or elderly's, access to voting. I, therefore, urge you to vote against HSB 93.
03-02-2017
Paula Connolly []
CON
As a long time Iowa resident, I am insulted and outraged this bill was proposed. We are being asked by legislators to throw away millions of dollars on a problem that doesn't even exist. There is nothing wrong with Iowa's voting laws except for legislators to consider the amount of money taxpayers could save if we allowed individuals to vote by mail. It would particularly benefit our elderly populations and those with disabilities who do not always have transportation. Given all the real issues and priorities facing our families, even thinking about spending this amount of money is an insult. What about our long history of respectful engagement in the caucus system and voter participation? Voter Fraud? Who is kidding who? If there's any fraud our taxpayers need to worry about is the "why" behind this bill.Iowans need to hold legislators accountable for the time and money being wasted up at the Capitol. If this is the type of burning issue you think will impact our children and families, I suggest ending the legislative session for 2017 right now. Legislators should be heading home in shame. The rest of us need to remember Paul Pate and any other elected official supporting this outrage at the voting booth.
03-02-2017
Ben Jung [Commission On Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs ]
CON
Attachment
03-02-2017
Jennifer Smith []
CON
This legislation will create a barrier to voting for Iowans and weaken our democracy. The very low incidence of voter fraud in this state does not justify disenfranchising voters.
03-02-2017
Diane Berner []
CON
Senate State Government Committee:You should be encouraging people to vote, not discouraging them. Is there any evidence of voter fraud in Iowa? Is this a big issue here? If so, please provide your data to support the need for additional restrictions. If there truly is a need to address fraudulent voting, be careful that you don't go overboard and cause voter suppression. It is a fine line. Any new restrictions will unfairly punish elderly, poor, minority voters, but you know that already, which is probably why you are doing this, since they typically vote Democratic.Voting is an American right. Yes, we should have some form of identification, but don't we already have that in place? I know that I was asked for my driver's license and home address when I voted in November. This is more government overreach that you say you don't like. President Trump won, yet he is still complaining about millions of people voting illegally, without any evidence, but won't do an investigation. Unless you can convince me that voter fraud is a problem in Iowa, I do not see the need for this new bill. Please vote no on the bill as it is presented. I would favor voting audits and better technical support. I might even support different forms of identification, but you would have to make a concerted effort to ensure that all voters, including the elderly, poor, and minorities were provided assistance to obtain the necessary forms or documents. Sincerely,Diane Berner
03-02-2017
Robert Roder []
CON
I don't believe there is enough fraud to Warrenton voter ID. It's only used to keep certain people from voting. Waste of time and money.
03-02-2017
Stella Herzig [Iowa resident]
CON
I am against stricter voting ID provisions. Iowa has ALWAYS been fine with no fraud.I am for going back to paper ballots and updating and securing our voting machines.Thank you.
03-02-2017
Myrna Loehrlein [League of Women Voters of Iowa]
CON
Statement of League of Women Voters of IowaRegarding Election Reform LegislationFebruary 26, 2017We believe there are two basic reasons for the proposed election reforms. First, there is a deeply pervasive, gutlevel intuition that voter impersonation occurs and may be rampant. This has repeatedly been demonstrated to be untrue, but the perception remains. Second, we are moving into an era of machinebased voter recognition in which the true identifier of each voter will be their voter number.The League of Women Voters is opposed to any unnecessary barrier, including Voter ID, that gets between the voter and the ballot. But we recognize the current reality. The job of citizens and legislators is to ensure that as we move to machinebased voter recognition, we safeguard the constitutional voting rights of every single Iowa voter.We call for a focus on 4 items:1.A means of recognition of eligible voters whose voter cards have been lost or stolen immediately before an election.2.A crystalclear understanding of the limitations of a provisional ballot, and a fair and above all, accessible means of curing the ballot without requiring a personal visit to the elections office.3.Delay of signature verification until a means can be found that will eliminate bias, even unintentional bias.4.Adequate funding. The proposal of a $400,000 revolving loan fund is far too small. One of our larger counties alone could require up to $300,000, of the fund.Finally, let us not be in a rush. The current majority party supports proposed changes. That party will control legislative action at least the rest of this year and next. We can take our time and work together to create election changes that will move us into a digital future while still protecting the rights of every eligible voter.Myrna Loehrlein, Voter ID specialistLeague of Women Voters of Iowa
03-02-2017
Francoise Gourronc []
CON
Protecting the right to vote is an essential function of a democratic government and therefore ANY elected official should oppose ANY legislation or administrative rule that promotes voter suppression in any form.Any attempt to show voting irregularities in Iowa has been costly and pathetically inconclusive.Electronic poll book are a great way to modernize the system keep it to that.
03-02-2017
Kathleen Winter []
CON
I strongly oppose this bill. Voter fraud in Iowa is practically nonexistent. This is another one of these solutions for a problem that doesn't exist. It unfairly targets the elderly,the poor, the minority population and the transgender community.
03-02-2017
Mary clover []
CON
As my mom always told, "don't fix what's not broken". This is not a good use of taxpayer money especially when do many budget cuts need to be made. Focus on the most pressing problems. We shouldn't making harder for any citizen to participate in our democratic system.
03-02-2017
Bobbi Fogle [Simpson College]
CON
Attachment
03-02-2017
Kathy Geronzin [None]
CON
There is no need for this law which would only serve to disenfranchise the elderly and many others who do not have driver's licenses or those who find it difficult to find transportation to get a photo ID.
03-02-2017
Vicki Pilcher [1953]
CON
We don't have a problem in Iowa with election integrity as it relates to voters. This is CLEARLY voter suppression and you should be ashamed of yourselves for even considering this bill that would make it harder for A LOT of people to vote. This is Iowa...not Russia. In case you are mixed up!
03-02-2017
Regina MacRae []
CON
Do not allow any interference or discouragement which would provide barriers for voters. Our system is working. We have very minimal instances of voter fraud. There is no need for change in our system. The old adage' applies here: "If it is not broken, don't try to fix it"!
03-02-2017
Susan Kaliszewski [Constituent]
CON
This bill is classist and prevents especially urban low income individuals from voting. No evidence of fraud in elections. Waste of money. Shame!!
03-02-2017
Heath Hancock []
CON
Voting should not be more difficult, we have enough trouble with getting everyone eligible to vote out to the polls to begin with, we should be encouraging more people to vote, not less. Suppressing voters is not what our Democratic Republic is about. Voter fraud is a rare occurrence and we should be more concerned about how few people go out to vote.
03-02-2017
Kyle Apple [University of Iowa College Republicans]
PRO
I am the Vice President of college republicans at the University of Iowa and will be representing the views of our organization
03-03-2017
Zebulun Treloar-Reid []
CON
There is almost no voter fraud in Iowa, and we should be encouraging more people to vote, not discouraging them.
03-03-2017
Janet Snider []
CON
This bill addresses problems that do not really exist regarding local running of elections, puts unnecessary burdens on voters, particularly low income and the elderly who cannot afford to provide new identification, do not have all the necessary information, like birth certificates, to get such identification.It is essentially putting limits on the rights of IOWANS to participate in the electoral process.It will also put unnecessary burdens on county auditors who are already working to run our elections in a fair and impartial way. The costs of making changes in how local elections are run will will ultimately be put on the taxpayers of each county who are already dealing with higher taxes for schools and infrastructure.
03-03-2017
Caitlin McCleary []
CON
This is frivolous and highly unnecessary, and will only weaken our voting system and rights. I regularly make use of absentee and early voting to accommodate my busy schedule. We should be expanding voting access, not restricting it. Iowa is one of the leaders in early votingdon't move us backwards. Vote NO on this bill.
03-03-2017
Virginia Meyer []
CON
This bill places numerous new impediments to registration and voting. By any name, this bill is voter suppression. It addresses voter impersonation fraud, which has been repeatedly shown to be a nonproblem. Our county auditors and other local election officials are against it.We know from other state's voter suppression laws that these types of restrictions favor Republican candidates.Instead of spending taxpayer dollars to suppress voting, how about implementing automatic registration to 18 year olds and extending voting opportunities to ensure more participation in our democracy? Why would our Republican legislators want to restrict voting? Why indeed.
03-03-2017
Oweni Morring []
CON
This is another example of legislation to cure a problem that doesn't exist THERE IS NO PROBLEM OF VOTER FRAUD IN IOWA. The intended effect of this bill and others like it advanced by Republicans all over the country is voter suppression, particularly aimed at those segments of the population who customarily vote for Democrats. In fact, this express purpose has been articulated by the GOP time and again. We live in a democracy no law should be created with the express purpose of disenfranchising any voters. If the GOP agenda is so darned great, why not let all voters decide?!
03-03-2017
Mary Tymeson []
CON
I do not believe it is necessary, nor appropriate to require ID for voter registration. This would adversely effect the poor and elderly population which do not have drivers licenses. Cost to implement this takes money away from other NEEDED priorities.
03-03-2017
Marlana Schnell []
CON
There is no reason to make it more difficult for Iowa citizens to cast a vote. The likelihood of voter fraud is likened to getting struck by lightening, it just doesn't happen enough to legislate to change.
03-03-2017
Brant Kassel []
CON
I believe HF 516 is a solution in search of a problem. It is unnecessary, expensive, and will hurt turnout. Our elections are currently free and fair. Adding unnecessary barriers for the most vulnerable in society (elderly, disabled, lowincome) is a disservice to our representative government. This bill is expensive. Our tax dollars have better uses than this bill. Lastly, this will hurt voter turnout and registration. Voting in free and fair elections is a hallmark of America. Creating barriers to voting is an affront to our representative government I urge our legislators to vote against HF 516. Thank you for your time.
03-03-2017
Michael Bayer [True Iowa Vote]
PRO
I support HF 516 and efforts to increase the integrity of our elections and voter registration (VR) processes. I am a precinct election official and I have been actively conducting research on our voter registration rolls for the past 2 years along with a small group of other concerned Iowans who are part of True Iowa Vote.Some people such as myself are concerned about election misconduct and VR rolls that include ineligible electors. Other people contend there is little or no voter fraud. The truth is we don't know how much there is because we haven't made an effort to measure it. Iowa needs tools that will help us to quantify vulnerabilities with our election processes and take steps to continually improve them. HF 516 is a step in the right direction to preventing some problems and implementing a postelection audit to help determine the accuracy of our processes.HF 516 addresses some important deficiencies in our election processes. With over 40% of ballots cast by absentee ballots or inperson early voting, it is imperative that the named voter is the one casting the ballot. HF 516 will enable that.HF 516 also takes a step towards expanding our use of electronic poll books. This is important, not just for the increased speed and accuracy of processing voters at the polls, but also because it helps the precinct election officials follow the correct processes by prompting them what to ask and do. Personally, I would like to see the law require more aggressive requirements (even deadlines) for the counties to upgrade to electronic poll books. HF 516 provides a small carrot but no major incentive for the counties to upgrade their technology.However, HF 516 is missing some important provisions to safeguard our elections. Our laws need to prevent noncitizens from registering and voting.Our research over the past 2 years has shown that we have hundreds if not thousands of noncitizens on our voter registration rolls. We have identified over 140 individuals on the VR rolls who by their own signed affidavit (juror questionnaire) admit that they are not a U.S. citizen. And this is only from a limited sample of the excused jurors list! The most egregious case that I personally challenged was a noncitizen who had been registered for over 30 years and had voted regularly! (See uploaded document.)Today, we accept a written affidavit that a person is a citizen with no further evidence that the statement is true. Obviously, this has not stopped many ineligible people from registering to vote. Iowa needs to change our VR processes to verify citizenship when a person registers for the first time or changes their existing registration. Election Integrity begins with making sure we have clean VR rolls as required by the National Voter Registration Act.Registration on election day and at inperson absentee voting also present threats to our election integrity. The problem here is that a person can not be thoroughly vetted as an elegible voter before their vote is cast and counted. How many of those who registered on election day were later determined that the information on their voter registration did not match the DOT database?In Iowa we don't have to choose between election integrity and voter accessibility. We can have both. By making voter ID's freely available to whomever does not already have a driver's license or stateissued ID card, there is no imposition on voters. We use ID cards for nearly everything else in our lives; using it to help protect a precious right to vote is prudent and makes commonsense. I ask you to pass a solid election integrity bill that will make sure every legally eligible voter can be assured that their vote will not be canceled out by an illegal voter. HF516 with some additions can be that bill.
Attachment
03-03-2017
Anonymous []
CON
There is no need for this bill. Voter fraud is not a large problem in our state.Why are we even considering something that would make it harder for elderly and poor people to vote? I think people should have to jump through as few hoops as possible to vote. Creating problems where there are none is a bad and expensive way to run a government.
03-03-2017
Elizabeth Brooke []
CON
IF there were widespread voter fraud in our state, I would support this bill. However, I have never seen ANY evidence of large scale voter fraud in Iowa. I have total faith in our election process IN IOWA. Once again, isn't this overreach by state legislators??
03-03-2017
Peggy Ross []
CON
I'm standing up against any effort to restrict voting in Iowa. The last thing we need is to discourage people from voting. Auditors across the state are arguing against this measure as unnecessary and expensive. I urge you to abandon this undemocratic measure. Voters are watching.
03-03-2017
Suzanne Zilber [Story County Democrats ]
CON
I feel we should make voting as accessible as possible. I heard from out of state visitors that all of their voting is done by mail. Having mail in voting is crucial to ensure enfranchisement of the most people, to include people traveling or ill. We need to make it easy for college students to participate in democracy if we want an active citizenry in the future.
03-03-2017
Anonymous [citizen]
CON
Iowa's election system is healthy and robust as it. Do not waste taxpayers time and money on fixing a system that is not broken. As a citizen, I believe in the integrity of the current Iowa election system and the ability of County Auditors to conduct free and fair elections.
03-03-2017
Marcy Wilfon []
CON
iowa has next to no significant voter fraud. This bill will waste our tax $ on a problem that doesn't need fixed. It will result in voter suppression, particularly among poor, elderly, those without their own transportation and marginalized communities. It is one step on the very slipperary slope to requiring "papers" be carried at all times. In addition, the creation of an electronic Poll Book, besides wasting my tax dollars, sets the State up for potential hacking and increased voter fraud
03-03-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I just wanted to voice my displeasure with the proposed 'Voter ID bill' currently in committee. The integrity of our elections in Iowa is sound and voter fraud is a partisan fiction. Iowa is still the rational, pragmatic and centrist state that I grew up in, and the extreme outsider influences that seem to have overtaken the Republican party are not representative of the Republican party, or the Iowa, that I have known my whole life. (I am 54). I will fight for the Iowa that I love!!
03-03-2017
Hunter Gillaspie []
CON
HF 516 creates unnecessary additional barriers for people to exercise their right to vote. There has been no evidence presented that proves that voter fraud is a significant concern that would warrant these extra barriers, and therefore, we should not be making it more difficult for people to vote. Instead, we should be making it easier for people to make their voices heard.HF 516 would erect dangerous and unnecessary roadblocks for transgender Iowans trying to exercise their right to vote. It can be incredibly difficult, and in fact impossible in some cases, for transgender Iowans to obtain identity documents that accurately reflect their gender due to expense, lack of knowledge of the complex process, and inconsistency in policy between states. By requiring these documents at the polls, this bill could subject transgender Iowans to undue scrutiny and potential discrimination.
03-03-2017
stephen tews [iowa citizens for community imporvement]
CON
"Just say no" to HF484this a bad bill that serves no public good
03-03-2017
Carolyn Bertolino []
CON
I will actively campaign against anyone who votes for this bill to waste 1 million dollars on a voter ID law just because 10 out of 1.6 million voters might have tried to vote twice.
03-03-2017
Amy Newll []
CON
CON. Please do not waste time and money on this pointless bill. Legislators from both parties agree that voter fraud in Iowa is not a problem. We do not have money in our state budget for this. Please kill this bill.
03-03-2017
Lauri and Jim Young []
CON
I am strongly opposed to House File 516. According to the independent Election Integrity Project, Iowa has the second highest score in the country for election integrity, so how/why does our state need any new regulations to restrict voting access???? This is a total waste of time and expense and aims to protect against something which does not exist. It is vitally important to protect the voting rights of all Americans. This bill would make it more difficult for minority, elderly, students and Iowans with disabilities to discharge their given voting right. Especially egregious is the refusal to accept a provision to study the impact of the new regulations on disenfranchisement. This is sheer cowardice and reveals a fear that any such study would prove this bill is not needed.
03-03-2017
Alex Enriquez []
CON
This bill is voter supression. County auditors across the state do not support this bill. There is no real evidence of voter fraud. Why create new problems with a solution for a problem that doesn't exist? Voter ID will keep people from voting. It is unfair and has a disproportionate effect on segments of the population that are already underrepresented. Please vote no on HF 516.
03-03-2017
Christian Kohl []
CON
It is hard enough trying to maneuver the legal system when changing ones name and gender marker. Why make it harder for the individuals to express their thoughts and feelings? Many of these people are transgender "under the radar" for fear of discrimination, ridicule, and bodily harm from others. I plead with you to stop the passing of this bill (HF516).
03-03-2017
John Thompson [Citizen ]
PRO
If you are alive, if you are a real person, and if you are a citizen, you will still be able to vote. If you cant afford an ID, there are provisions that still allow you to vote. A recent Gallup poll found that 80% of Americans support voter ID, and a poll by the Des Moines Register concluded that 69% of Iowans are in favor. This shows that voters do not have confidence in the integrity of our systems. This bill will help.
03-03-2017
ted wisman [water drinking human and iowa resident]
CON
it isn't broke, don,t fix it. leave it the way it is
03-03-2017
Gary Duneman [private citizen]
CON
There has been a national movement to prevent people of color and the poor from voting. Why, because they are less likely to vote for Republicans. The movement is being financed by corporations because they want their conservative Republicans to do their bidding. Again we see corporations controlling state legislatures. This proposal sound harmless but we should not trust those whose aim it is to suppress voting. These laws when passed do in fact suppress the votes of people of color and the poor. Hundreds of thousands of voters have been denied voting since the 2000 election. Look at what has happened to state control.
03-03-2017
Daniel Johnson-O'Mara [AFSCME Chapter 61 Retiree]
CON
People,The signature verification element of this bill is pointless. My own signature can vary significantly from day to day depending on when, why and what I'm signing. As a Precinct Election Official for Johnson County, I can tell you the ID information itself will tell me, as it always has before, just who I am addressing. Delete this element, please.Daniel JohnsonO'Mara
03-03-2017
Renee Thomas [One Iowa and the ACLU of Iowa]
CON
This is a solution in search of a problem. You who are advocating for this misguided law all know that. You also know that inperson fraud as a percentage of votes cast is exceedingly rare. Recent studies by the Brennan Center for Justice found that, since 2000, there were a grand total of only 31 credible allegations of voter impersonation the only type of fraud that photo IDs could prevent during a period of time in which over 1 billion ballots were cast. That's a percentage of .0003% of all votes cast. What this law DOES do is disproportionately discriminate against minority voters and transgender voters who are under hardship to acquire stateissued photo ID's or, in the case of Transgender citizens, lack ID's that match with their gender identity. Nationally, up to 25% of AfricanAmerican citizens of voting age lack governmentissued photo ID's, compared to only 8% of whites. So the effect of this law if passed will be to directly discriminate against and disenfranchise American citizens who heretofore have been able to vote without undue hardship and obviously without committing voter fraud. So what you will be essentially doing is enacting a law which fails to solve the virtually nonexistent problem for which it was written and which when signed will be in direct violation The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. That will without fail swiftly land Iowa in US Federal Court. The burden of defending this unconstitutional law, which solves no problem in need of a solution, will fall directly upon the taxpayers of Iowa.
03-04-2017
Kate Wolf [none]
CON
I am OPPOSED to this bill.
03-04-2017
Tony Reid [Retired]
CON
A fiveyear study by George Bush found 86 convictions for voter fraud, out of millions of votes. 86. Most of which misunderstandings, not deliberate. Yet Iowa wants to spend a million dollars on a nonexistent problem?And if this isn't a partisan measure, why do they not accept student IDs?
03-04-2017
Anonymous [Citizen]
CON
It has been well documented that strict voter id laws, along with limitations on early voting, suppress the votes of low income, elderly, and minority Americans. A new raft of research pieces were jut released regarding this result. The only reason to enact such laws should be if there is widespread proven voter fraud. In the absence of such evidence, you are creating laws to address a problem that doesn't exist and, as a byproduct, unfairly disadvantaging many voters. If you pass these laws, low income and poor voters will be turned away at the voting booth, damaging an essential American right. If we were truly focused on protecting American democracy for all, not just the privileged, then we would be enacting laws that make it easier to vote, not harder.
03-04-2017
Jenny Cooper [Education]
CON
KILL THIS BILL and don't waste time bringing it up again. Let's work to increase voter participation in local, state, and all elections.
03-04-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Legislators should be doing everything they can to encourage voting. The content of this bill is nothing more than a thinlyveiled attempt to suppress voting. Please vote NO!
03-04-2017
Judy DeAngelo [ICCI]
CON
HF 516 is nothing more than voter suppression. It's been proven everywhere it's been enacted in other states and the Republican legislature knows it. That's the objective and it isn't going unnoticed. We've been doing fine in Iowa without showing our ID's for decades. I believe there was only one case of voter fraud in Polk county in the general election (a Republican), it had nothing to do with ID's and it was caught immediately. If anything should be done regarding voting, we should be making it easier by allowing people to register when they get their driver's license and all voting could be done by mail.
03-04-2017
Anonymous []
PRO
HF 516 has many good provisions including voter verification (ID) for inperson and absentee voters, the ability to remove the voter registration of noncitizens who completed a juror questionnaire and voters who no longer reside in Iowa, revolving loan fund to help counties upgrade to electronic poll books, postelection audits to measure and improve election processes, etc.I echo the sentiments of the person who said that we don't truly know the fraud rate because it's not been measured.Let's please look at the spirit in which this has been presented and the ramifications of not having this policy in place.
03-04-2017
Bev Philpott []
CON
Voting is a right. To place the onus of getting an identification card on the voter is an impediment to exercising that right. Rep. Rizer at his listening post stated that a card with a voter number on it would be issued by mail to those without a driver's licence. However this bill appears to require a photo ID, or the individual will only cast a provisional ballot.
03-04-2017
Anonymous [Retired Iowan]
CON
I am against any action that creates a situation for any eligible voter to NOT be able to vote. Voter suppression is abhorrent to me and certainly is NOT to be tolerated in a Democratic Society, which is what the United States of America is! Requiring photo IDs is clearly an attempt to make voting more difficult for different populations of residents ie: elderly, students, and I'm sure there are others who would be affected.
03-04-2017
Sandra Sanchez-Naert []
CON
Here we go again, spending tons of money for a problem that doesn't exist in Iowa, instead of using the state budget for programs such education, mental health care, health prevention, and other more urgent needs.Investigation and probes have proved that in Iowa there is no voter fraud, and the couple of instances found didn't warrant the more than a million dollars spent on doing an investigation. Far from placing barriers to voters, we ought to do more to encourage voters to cast their votes. Educate them in how to do so in an informed and easy manner. If anything, I would rather appreciate having a clear process to file complaints when volunteers and/or voters behave inappropriately during elections (i.e. playing sermons in church that act as polling places; holding conversations about political preferences with some voters, and asking for IDs to "certain" voters over others, such as people of color or making uncomfortable people still wearing their working clothes in order to make it in time to cast their vote! I didn't know that there was a dress code to go to vote! It made me very uncomfortable to hear the comment directed to a neighbor who was actually ready to leave the precinct. I encouraged him to ignore the comment and still cast his vote. And I am glad he did it!Nine out of ten times I go to vote, I have been asked for a picture ID; which is not the law. I have let that go and I probably shouldn't have seeing the direction this is going! Poor people, elderly people, people of color, and people with disabilities may have a hard time obtaining governmental IDs which may prevent them from casting their vote.I strongly urge you to vote AGAINST HF 516. It is a bill that creates barriers to protected groups of our community members such as the elderly, people with disabilities or people who speak with an accent such as me, yet I've been a responsible taxpayer and voter for over twenty years. Vote against this discriminatory bill.
03-04-2017
Teresa Bomhoff [League of Women Voters]
CON
Please do not pass HF 516 the Secretary of States voter ID bill.Voter fraud in Iowa is not a problem except for those whose imaginations are looking for a problem which doesnt exist. Instead of trying to limit the number of people who can vote, we should make sure that as many people as possible vote in elections. We should not be discouraging or preventing people from voting. We already have plenty of options for ID when voting. Requiring additional types of IDs creates more barriers making it difficult for some people to vote the disabled, the poor, minorities, the elderly, and students. Cutting off the access to vote is a violation of a persons constitutional right to cast a ballot.We already have provisional ballots when there is a question whether the voter is eligible to vote. Poll workers are very well trained and can resolve any questions concerning identity with our present voting system.Iowa has one of the best election processes in the United States. How can you keep a straight face and spread alternative facts about election integrity? It is truly shameful when the urge to win involves suppression of voters and other underhanded methods.The funds included in this bill for updating electronic voting books and other technology should be spent on other more worthwhile causes involving the safety net of vulnerable people education, child care, and people with disabilities.When there are efforts to limit the ability of people to vote, our democracy is threatened. Voting is a fundamental constitutional right. Putting limitations on the right to vote is cheating and not an honest way to conduct elections in the U.S. Even the Iowa Association of County Auditors is not in favor of any voter restriction laws. Please do not pass HF 516.
03-04-2017
Anonymous [Mrs.]
CON
We do not have a voting problem in Iowa. We do not need this law. It is meant only to suppress voters that apparently Republicans believe will not vote for them. So they have to rig the system? Vote against this solution looking for a problem.
03-04-2017
krysten reid []
CON
This is unnecessary, and a burden on voters, especially new residents. Iowa does not have a problem with voter fraud. We should be making it easier to vote, not further complicating it. We have enough protections and restrictions already.
03-05-2017
Kelly Knauss []
CON
Voter fraud is not a problem in Iowa. This bill would needlessly disenfranchise people from voting, which is not allowing for proper representation by the people of Iowa. It is also a waste of money.
03-05-2017
Peggy Gingerich []
CON
This bill is a waste of money and energy. It does nothing to improve the integrity of our voting system. Why are you trying to solve something that isn't a problem? It is pretty obvious the goal is voter suppression, not election integrity.Shame on you!
03-05-2017
Dr. Jill Sudak-Allison []
CON
This bill disenfranchises elderly and lower income Iowans. Although facts and research don't seem to matter to the prevailing party who continually introduces this type of legislation that is wasteful and shameful. The only count of voter fraud in Iowa in this last election was a REPUBLICAN who voted twice and was caught. This particular legislation is promoted by dark money outside of Iowa. Please stop wasting your constituents time and money to support your agenda.
03-05-2017
Mark Bruns [NONE]
PRO
We NEED strict VoterID and other measures to audit the integrity of voter elections more than any other item on the Legislative agenda. We are ONE disputed election away from allout fullon genocidal civil war.It's worth repeating ... the NEXT election that involves a seriously disputed outcome WILL result in allout fullon genocidal civil war. The 2016 election was not seriously disputed ... there were plenty of doubts and trivial recount efforts, but nobody really was serious about disputing the outcome. If there are SERIOUS disputes of the election ... as with the Franken Coleman Senate election in MN in 20082009 OR the BushGore Presidential election in FL in 20002001 ... lack of VoterID will produce an allout fullon genocidal civil war.Voter ID is an insurance policy we NEED to use. VoterID is EFFECTIVE ... and accordingly faces stiff opposition ... because VoterID suppresses ILLEGAL voter turnout VoterID effectively suppresses vote fraud. The ONLY voices against this are those who rely upon packing the ballot box with ILLEGAL votes. There are no limits to how far these people are willing to go that includes packing the comments on this forum with paid trolls and other attempts to manipulate Legislators.Do not be mislead ... if what government does matter, then voting matters ... if voting matters, we should expect legal citizens to uniquely identify themselves so that their ONE vote counts as much as the ONE vote of any other legal citizens. There are no citizens engaged in the economy who can operate for long without identification ... holding a job, getting benefits, using a hotel room, signing up for cell service and ALL kinds of other activities REQUIRE an ID. Voting is more important than all of those activities if someone who can legal vote does not have an ID, we should help them get an ID and rejoin society.
Attachment
03-05-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I am opposed to HF516 voter ID. There is little to no evidence of voter fraud in Iowa. This is not necessary and the expenditure, in light of the tight budget, is not responsible.
03-05-2017
Matthew Peirce [Iowa CCI Action Fund]
CON
The Voter ID bill would require acceptable proof of identification for voting on Election Day or inperson absentee voting to include a photo and be issued by the federal government, the state, or a local government. However, about 85,000 Iowa citizens do not have a photo ID. DON'T HAVE IT. Lost it, never had one (the very elderly), someone stole it, victim of identity theft, or any number of other reasons. These people are STILL American citizens and human beings and STILL have the RIGHT TO VOTE under the Iowa and US Constitutions.This law is designed to specifically disenfranchise students, people of color, the elderly and disabled individuals.This is a completely unnecessary bill. We have a model election system in Iowa. Voter ID is a solution in search of a problem.Waste of time and tax payer dollars. It will cost $340,000 just to issue new IDs. Don't our Schools need that money instead?County election officials from all over the state have come out in opposition to Voter ID, which included both Democrats and Republican officials because it would be expensive, pinch voter turnout and is unnecessary.Over 85,000 people could be disenfranchised from voting especially the elderly, disabled and people of color.A 2011 Advancement Project report shows that 15% of those earning less than $35,000 per year are without a photo ID. So, if one is poor in Iowa, not only is your life hard, but you can't exercise your right to vote for people and policies that make your lives better.The Iowa Legislature believes that's just too bad for those poor people, and they should have chosen their parents better, like the Republican Legislators, corporate ALEC members, and ABI officers and lobbyists.We need more people engaged in our election system and we need to expand voting rights. We need:Universal voter registration which would automatically register Iowa citizens to vote when they turn 18. Instead of opting in, individuals would have to optout of receiving a voter registration card. Senate File 65 provides the means to do EXACTLY THAT.Reinstate exoffender voting rights automatically when individuals have served their time.
03-05-2017
Jacqueline Riekena [Business Owner ]
PRO
I support providing official state or government issues photo ID to validate identity. This would help prevent voter fraud across the State of Iowa!
03-05-2017
Nikolaos Maggos []
CON
There is a vast body of evidence showing that enacting laws that make it harder for people to vote (like this one which requires having state issued identification) is a way of marginalizing poorer citizens. There is not an epidemic of voter fraud; in fact, it is extremely rare. The purpose of this bill is not truly to stop the (nonexistent) voter fraud. It is to disenfranchise poorer citizens of the state of Iowa. If you have to win elections by silencing voters, you're doing something wrong. This bill is an outrage.
03-05-2017
Jeanette Best [Election Official ]
PRO
As I work the polls, a majority of voters give metheir driver's licenses for ID. When I thank them and explain that it is not needed in Iowa, they get almost angry and say "Well, it should be"!
03-05-2017
Greg Tagtow []
PRO
We need this change in our voter laws in order to make our system more secure. This in no way disenfrachises anyone and no amount of voter fraud should be "acceptable". Please support this effort be our Sect. Of State.
03-05-2017
Mary Howell-Williams []
CON
Iowa already has very safe and fair voting practices. We do not need this bill.This bill will make it more difficult to vote for the elderly, the poor, and college students. Voting should be made easier, not harder, for all.This bill is a huge waste of taxpayer's time and money.
03-05-2017
Susan mrzena []
CON
This bill is truely A deterrent to Voting. 42% of our citizens did not vote in the last election. We don't need to make any hurdles unnecessarily. Choose to be part of the solution instead of the problem .
03-05-2017
Tyler Higgs [N/A]
CON
The first email I sent my representatives (Sen. Schneider SD22 and Rep. Taylor HD44) was to condratulate them on their electoral voctories and to express concern because I learned from the Secretary of State's office that there is no formal system for auditing the vote in Iowa. I was shocked by this and told my represebtatives I thought we needed to create a system to audit the vote. At the time, I did not suspect any foul play but just wanted to relay the concern as a matter of principle.2 months later, I learned that I am probably one of 5,842 people whose votes weren't counted in Dallas County. Let me repeat, I am one of 13% of lawabiding citizens in Dallas County who was denied my right to vote without regard to my rights to due process or equal protection under the law. This is a crime commited against me for which there has been no arrests and no firings.No one wants to see audit provisions more than I do. But voter ID is a poison pill. I strongly believe that you don't fix the disenfranchisement of voters by disenfranchising more voters. Voter ID would not have fixed the problem in Dallas County. In fact, there is no problem in existence for which Voter ID would be a solution. This is an unnecessary barrier to the elderly, college students, and minorities and nothing more than a modernage poll tax.Like I said, I really want a vote audit, but if that means going back to the age of Jim Crow, count me out.I strongly urge you to reject this bill and start from scratch. Any changes to the basic foundation of our democracy our right to vote should be so wildly popular that it passes with unanimous bipartisan support. We need to make it easier, not harder, to vote. Thank you.
03-05-2017
Patti McKee [Iowa Citizen ]
CON
I oppose this bill. It seems to a bill looking for a problem that doesn't really exist in Iowa. It is a costly bill at a time the State is having to make cuts to vital programs.It will make it harder for citizens to participate in their government. I encourage you to oppose this bill.
03-05-2017
Barry Wilson []
CON
No need for Voter ID. Is a solution in search of a problem and this current bill represents an effort to suppress voters.
03-05-2017
Zachary Bruns []
PRO
In 2012, the Pew Charitable Trusts 2012 report highlights the PROVEN irregularities ... it might be that actual instances of likely voter fraud are difficult to prove, but the data verified in the Pew Report show why the NEED for HF 516 is absolutely OVERWHELMING. More than 1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as active voters. Approximately 2.75 million people have active registrations in more than one state. About 12 million records have incorrect addresses, making it likely that the millions of votes are cast by phantom voters with FAKE addressesAs you might expect, there has significant been political pressure applied to Pew to remove this report since it does not support the Democratic narrative ... but the report is still available via the Internet WayBack machine at http://web.archive.org/web/20120217200317/http://www.pewcenteronthestates.org/uploadedFiles/PewUpgradingVoterRegistration.pdf
Attachment
03-05-2017
Adin Mann []
PRO
All the evidence that I have seen indicates that voter fraud is extremely infrequent and does not impact election results. The bill has proposed changes that includes a statement indicating that the changes are for the integrity and perceived voter fraud. First, the current elections have the utmost integrity when viewed thought the lens of facts. Second, the perceived propensity of voter fraud is better treated with honest discussion and review of facts not making it harder for people to vote, which will reduce turnout. I am an engineer, and before introducing a product to the market, we work to minimize or eliminate potential risks. With that same engineering perspective, I suggest that rather than take the risk of disenfranchising people who want to vote and have the right to vote, that the state should FIRST implement the identification system and show that this works for people in all situations of life. Then rules to ease the apparent concern of some voters can be implemented having proven that it does not harm others who also have the right to vote.
03-05-2017
Anonymous []
CON
The bill as currently written will disenfranchise individuals who are residents of Iowa and citizens of the U.S., but who do not have access to a form of i.d. that will be required by the amended statute. People who are homeless, who have fled domestic violence, who were kicked out of their home by abusive parents, or who have been evicted and lost their belongings will not typically be able to hold onto the documentation needed to get a driver's license or nonoperator i.d. I urge you to vote against this bill.
03-05-2017
Keith and Rebecca Kmett []
CON
The Cedar Rapids Gazette has reported that only 23 people were convicted of election misconduct between 2012 and 2016, according to data from the Judicial Branchs Iowa Court Information System. As the saying goes, weve got 99 problems, but voter fraud isnt one of them. And its a waste of time and money to spend on solutions to nonexistent problems. Even the county auditors have spoken out against this plan.Voter ID requirements negatively and disproportionately impact the poor, elderly, and minorities and undermine confidence in our elections. They are just thinly veiled voter suppression methods. The courts have struck them down or challenged them in places such as Texas, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, citing racial discrimination. That leads to the question: What groups might Secretary Pate and the current legislature want to prevent from voting, and why? In the states that do require or request identification, Pew Research Center reported, about 1in5 voters do not know a photo ID is needed, which may result in inconvenience, or prevent them from voting at all. So thats additional money the state will have to spend educating voters on voting requirements and yet Secretary Pate has said there is no additional money available for communication or outreach. This is another illconceived bill and we cannot, in good conscience, support it.
03-05-2017
Deborah Vaughan [individual]
CON
It would take a huge amount of voter fraud to justify one instance of voter suppression. Iowa does not have that amount of voter fraud, but some are clearly trying to suppress the vote. That is wrong. HF 516 is an expensive and unmerited legislation. It will make it more difficult for Iowans to vote. We are seen to have one of the most secure systems in the country and this law is expensive and unnecessary. It appears that we can afford to suppress the vote, but not to fund infrastructure like schools. It is time for our legislators to start thinking for themselves and not using outside sources for their legislation.
03-05-2017
Aaron Sewell [None]
PRO
As a young black male and resident of Iowa I am in favor of any effort to secure our most sacred privilage.
03-05-2017
Anonymous [Ms.]
CON
This bill to require an I.D. for voters is nothing more than a meanspirited attempt by ALEC organizers (Republicans) to suppress the Democratic vote. As early as 2012, the Atlantic reported on ALEC (funded by the Koch brothers) as offering many bills that would benefit THEIR interests and "selling" these ideas to state legislatures through bribery and campaign donations. Voter I.D. bills are right out of the ALEC playbook.Besides, studies show that voter fraud is not even a problem in the state...why are we trying to "fix" a problem that doesn't exist?
03-05-2017
Gwen Ecklund , president [Iowa Federation of Republican Women (IowaFRW)]
PRO
The IowaFRW fully supports legislation requiring voters to present a government issued form of identification before being allowed to cast a ballot.
03-05-2017
Josh Wilson [Citizen ]
PRO
I support HF 516 and encourage all lawmakers to ensure it's passage in the Iowa House.To quote the Des Moines Register:"A majority of Iowans say they think voters should have to present a governmentissued identification card before casting a ballot, according to the latest Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll." "69 percent of Iowans polled by The Des Moines Register say they support needing an ID to vote."Many lawmakers made this a part of their campaigns and I hope to see them follow through on the promise.
03-05-2017
Tara Tarnowski [Individual]
CON
There are many parts of the bill that are troubling, but I find the signature verification requirements the most troubling of all. Requiring poll workers to challenge voters when they don't think their signatures match what is on record seems like an avenue for voter intimidation and discrimination. How would the state guarantee the signature verification is not abused to silence specific groups of voters? This bill needs to be rejected or significantly scaled back.
03-06-2017
Julie Stewart [Ms.]
CON
Dallas County already has the electronic equipment necessary to scan driver's licenses for voter identification. This evidently did not prevent the Supervisors from certifying the election results when there was a large discrepancy of 5,824 (13% of the votes cast) between the voter participation totals and the totals in the election results. Why should the legislature be more concerned about a nonexistent problem of voter fraud than making sure of the accuracy of the actual vote?
03-06-2017
Karen Lambert [Citizen - DSM 38]
PRO
You have to present ID when you write or cash a check. You have to present ID when you buy cigarettes or alcohol. It is absolutely disingenuous to claim that requiring an ID for voting in someway "disenfranchises" minorities or makes it harder to vote. It is a lame argument that does not hold up to the facts that 95% of votingaged Iowans have a drivers license or state issued ID. 95% leaves only 5%, and this bill provides for that 5% to be provided a voter ID card free of charge. And to anyone who says that they don't see the need for voter ID, because they do not believe that IA has any fraud in our elections, I simply say let's make sure that is true. The only reason I can see to NOT support this bill is if you WANT to make fraud easier to perpetrate or harder to deter & detect.
03-06-2017
Burno Katherine []
PRO
Listening to the county auditors.
03-06-2017
Anonymous [Iowa Citizen]
CON
I am opposed to HF 516. Iowa does not have a problem with illegal voting! This bill is a waste of taxpayer time and resources. Voting should be made easier not more difficult! This bill is an attempt to limit certain individuals from their right to vote.
03-06-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I am opposed to any bill, like this, that would create hurdles for any voter who wants to participate in elections. Our problem isn't voter fraud, it's voter apathy. Let's find ways to ENCOURAGE voting, not discourage itto make it easier, not harder.
03-06-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Please kill this bill. This is a waste of taxpayer's money and legislator's time discussing this bill to fix problems that do not exist. Instead we should be looking for ways to encourage voting and making it easier to vote. The widespread reports of voter fraud have been completely unsupported by facts and data.. County auditors in Iowa's 99 counties do a wonderful job. This bill is unnecessary and as everyone knows when ID is required to vote, fewer people vote.
03-06-2017
Rachel Cole []
CON
A poorly disguised attempt to suppress voting by minorities and the poor. Also a waste of money! You don't have money to fund my child's school but you have the money to make sure TEN people do not accidentally vote when they shouldn't?
03-06-2017
Monica St. Angelo []
CON
This bill will waste taxpayer money on a problem that doesn't exist. Iowa is already in a difficult financial situation. The instance of voter fraud is negligible. Creating more bureaucracy to be eligible to vote will only make voting more inaccessible for citizens who are already at risk of disenfranchisement.
03-06-2017
Lorie Spanjers [Na]
CON
I am unable to attend the hearing in person, but am firmly opposed to this bill. On November 7, 2016, I watched an elderly couple come in to vote. When asked for a driver's license, the wife said her husband no longer had one due to health reasons. She then asked whether he could still vote. Both were visibly upset that he might not be allowed to do so, and were relieved that an ID was not required. There is no evidence that this law is necessary to preserve the integrity of elections in Iowa. Passing this law will make it much more difficult for many of our elderly citizens to vote. This bill should not become law.
03-06-2017
Gary D. Pitts []
PRO
Currently, there are huge problems at both the caucuses and the polling places. If we want to maintain out first in the nation status we need to clean this up.Gary D. Pitts
03-06-2017
Tom Chapman [Iowa Catholic Conference]
CON
The Iowa Catholic Conference is the public policy voice of the Catholic bishops of Iowa. There is not a particular Catholic position on how the government should run elections. However, our participation in public life through the right to vote is extremely important and should not be impeded without reason. Because of this bill, some registered voters will not be able to vote as easily. Here in Iowa, there is little evidence of voter fraud. Voter impersonation is virtually nonexistent.We appreciate that House File 516 contains provisions for homeless people and lowincome people to receive IDs. If this legislation continues to move forward, the state must follow through and appropriate the money necessary to pay for IDs for those who cant afford one.The signature verification requirement could also be problematic for the elderly or people who have had a stroke, for example, and their physical condition has changed.
03-06-2017
Jennifer Schumann []
CON
This bill is unnecessary!It will cost the state of Iowa too much money. It is throwing obstacles in the way of citizens trying to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Please oppose this bill.
03-06-2017
Ashtin Trimble []
CON
This bill is a waste of our tax dollars and marginalizes the most vulnerable of our voting population. I am concerned about the elderly and poorest of our state's residents, as this bill puts an undue burden on them and may prevent them from being able to exercise their right to vote. I am also in opposition because this bill will disenfranchise outofstate college students attending school in Iowa.
03-06-2017
Ryan Roberts [Mr.]
CON
This bill is blatantly antidemocratic attempt at voter suppression. Issues with voter fraud are negligible and this bill would not prevent that fraud. The process of voting in Iowa has worked well and encourages people to exercise their constitutional right to vote. I do not find it credible the idea that the legislature would appropriate funds to help people obtain voter identification cards. I need to think that Republicans still value democratic institutions. Please respect the voice of your fellow citizen and vote down HF 516!
03-06-2017
Anne Spencer [Strong WoMen.]
CON
Oppose this bill. It is not supported by those involved in voting process and will only make it more difficult for voters. The voters who are less likely to vote will be discouraged by a more complicated process, longer lines and red tape. Voter fraud is NOT a problem!!
03-06-2017
Anonymous [None]
CON
This would be a very wasteful program for the state to take part of.
03-06-2017
Suzanne M Lang []
CON
I am against Voter ID in Iowa. There is very clear information from scientific research that shows voter ID actually suppresses the voting ability of the poor, minority populations, and students. Instances of voter fraud are so miniscule as to be negligible statistically. However, instances of voter suppression die to voter ID laws are enough to be statistically significant. For the reason that research doesn't support voter ID, it should not be passed.The other reason is the history of our country. During Reconstruction, Jim Crow was used to suppress voting of the newly freed slaves, to segregate schools and water fountains, to economically and psychologically oppress AfricanAmericans. These types of bills target the same people and have the same effect. They are tools of white supremacy. I know white nationalism is all the rage in GOP circles, but it is bad for Iowa and bad for Iowans. It is morally wrong. I am against any bill that suppresses the votes of people who have every right to vote.
03-06-2017
Dan Lodden []
PRO
I am a living US citizen of legal age. I have never been convicted of a felony. Providing proof of these facts is a ridiculously small personal "inconvenience" and a system to verify my honesty imposes a ridiculously small cost relative to the importance of maintaining election integrity.
03-06-2017
Michelle Czarnecki [Constituent]
CON
This places undue burden upon your constituents to be able to vote.
03-06-2017
Angela Gronborg-Harder [None]
CON
This is a waste of taxpayer money! Voter fraud is not a real problem in the state. This law will only serve to suppress voting and waste money.
03-06-2017
Mike Dulaney [self]
PRO
Why oppose a bill that enhances our most fundamental right? Let's enforce our existing laws and examine all potential abuses. Election Day Registration is an open invitation to just such an abuse.
03-06-2017
Grant Veeder [Black Hawk County]
CON
Secretary Pate's bill has many salutary aspects; however, I feel it errs in calling for voter identification at the polls. Virtually no problems resulting from voter impersonation have been recorded, so any effect this can have in improving election integrity is negated a thousandfold by the effect it will have of jeopardizing the voting rights of populations whose access to the required identification is chronically or occasionally problematic. Among others, this includes racial minorities, college students, lowincome individuals, and transgender individuals. The overall effect, as has been demonstrated in other states where this has become law, is voter discouragement. The nationwide effort to aggressively push such legislation, in the absence of any demonstrable need, amounts to voter suppression.
03-06-2017
James Hopcus []
PRO
Pro!
03-06-2017
Bernadette Siebert [individual]
CON
This bill will make it harder for people without transportation to get proper identification. People will forget cards for voting. It is unnecessary state expense when we have so many other needs.
03-06-2017
Lauren Whitehead []
CON
This bill has one purpose: the disenfranchisement of minority and rural voters.There is NO proof of fraud in our election system, and Iowa is ranked among the best and most honest voting systems in the country.These programs cost CONSIDERABLE money to implement fairly and in a way consistent with the Constitution. We have no money to spare. Take this money and give it to schools.The only established outcome of bills like this is to prevent minority voters from voting, and to reduce participation in rural areas. Why would politicians want to do this? It's pretty clear that some votes are more equal than others to Republicans.
Attachment
03-06-2017
Laurel Tuggle []
CON
This bill is unnecessary and costly. It will do nothing to decrease voter fraud (which is virtually nonexistent) but will prevent eligible voters from exercising their constitutional rights. This bill is thinly veiled voter suppression and should be struck down.
03-06-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Vote No on HF516 and SSB1172 as these are unnecessary and costly pieces of legislation. It is a waste of taxpayers' time and money to continue debating voting in Iowa when there is no problem with voter integrity. Despite all assurances to the contrary, these bills are designed to suppress voting rights of Iowans. There is nothing in these bills to address voter integrity. Iowans deserve honesty from their elected officials.
03-06-2017
Bob Brown [Citizen/voter]
CON
I am opposed to this legislation and ask that you vote No.Government should take actions to increase voter turnout, this legislation will deter voters from both political parties from voting. It is Shameful for any legislator to support this bill.
03-06-2017
Lynn Gallagher []
CON
This is a bill about voter suppression. It is not needed as we have minimal to no voter fraud. This is a solution to a problem that does not exist and it will cost money that we don't have.
03-06-2017
Robert Gibson [Iowa resident]
PRO
Feel this needs passed to keep our elections strictly Iowa, strictly Legal Residency.
03-06-2017
Robert Gibson [Iowa resident]
PRO
Feel this needs passed to keep our elections strictly Iowa, strictly Legal Residency.
03-06-2017
Jon Krieg []
CON
This bill is yet another solution in search of a problem. Iowa's elections are already very fair. We shouldn't make it any harder for people to vote; in fact, we should be doing everything possible to encourage this civic act.
03-06-2017
Charles Stanier []
CON
It is irresponsible for the legislature to add cost and complexity to Iowa's voting system. This is a thinly veiled voter suppression bill a solution in search of a problem. Research shows that likely Democratic voters they will be the ones turned away by ID requirements because they move more frequently, rely on public transit (so a quick errand to get the new ID becomes a big deal), are students with a home and a student address, struggle with reliable car transportation or childcare, or work multiple jobs or odd shifts. Money is very tight, so why add expense to elections: "Iowa has some of the best elections in the country with some of the highest rates of voter participation and zero indication of any voter impersonation fraud" ACLU director quoted in DM Register. The Iowa State Association of County Auditors has voted to register against Pate's bill!
03-06-2017
Anonymous [voter]
CON
What a waste of taxpayer money that we do not have right now. We DO NOT have a problem with voter fraud. This bill will only disenfranchise thousands of eligible voters. Shameful.
03-06-2017
Anonymous []
PRO
I'm both pro and con on this bill. It will make voting easier in that the vast majority of voters going to the polls will be able to check in with a swipe of their card. It provides for more positive identity check at the polls and also for absentee. It provides for some audits of paper ballots. I believe the straight party vote should be retained. Those who wish to vote straight party should not be denied. It is quicker for them than looking through the entire list of candidates to find the one they want and possibly making an error, besides. Additional parties can qualify for straightparty voting if their candidates have had sufficient backing in previous elections.
03-06-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Please kill this unnecessary bill. There is no evidence to suggest that voter fraud is a problem in Iowa this bill is therefore solving a problem that doesn't exist. As a result, it will only serve to stifle the voting rights of those who are most vulnerable: members of the working class, single parents, lowincome workers who can't afford time off to vote, seniors, etc. This is an unnecessary and clearly antidemocratic bill.
03-06-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I am against any bill of any kind that will make it more difficult for the citizens of Iowa to vote. This bill would disenfranchise minorities and the elderly. In addition, The amount of money required to adjust our voting systems is prohibitively large.
03-06-2017
Linda Schneider [Indivisible Iowa SD44/HD87&88]
CON
Voter fraud is almost nonexistent in Iowa. This bill is an expensive solution to a problem we don't have in our state. Ineligible votes would not have been prevented by voter ID or signature verification. Iowa already has good procedures in place to prevent fraud. I am very proud of that. County auditors are not in favor of this bill either, and I trust their judgement. Iowa does not need to make voting harder for any citizen. As a state, we should encourage voting and not voter suppression. I see this bill as suppressing voters. Although Pate has stated that valid identification will be provided at no charge to every Iowan who doesn't have a driver's license, the bill states that "providing voter registration cards is contingent upon adequate appropriations." That alone should make a statement. It is NOT a promise! Our budget is already strained and this is an issue.I also feel that closing polls earlier will not help people who want to cast a ballot. We are a 24/7 society anymore, with a lot of differing work schedules. This will also hinder voters.Lastly, we need to keep the same day registration process in place. It works well currently and reduces barriers to voting. Forcing all people registering election day to case provisional ballots will create delays at the polls. I can see no good reason for this. Long wait times could prevent or discourage some Iowans from voting.Please VOTE NO on this bill! You should want to encourage voting, not encourage suppression. Thank you for listening!
03-06-2017
Kate Sherer [Private citizen]
CON
This bill is an unnecessary attack on the integrity of Iowa elections. Iowa does not have a voter fraud issue. This bill will do nothing but unnecessarily disenfranchise students, minorities, and lowincome voters. Iowa already verifies identity through the voter registration process. I have worked the polls during two different general elections at two very different polling sites Iowa elections are already fair and already have safeguards to prevent fraud. If there are questions as to the efficacy and efficiency of poll workers, those can be addressed through training and education, not an overbroad and dangerous curtailing of the voting process. This bill is a solution to a problem that does not exist. Please vote no!
03-06-2017
Stephen Toothman []
CON
This is a solution in search of a problem. And once again the state legislature has a bill in front of it to fix something that is not broken. Voter ID is a violation of a person's right to vote by imposing a poll tax and/or literacy test to vote. It will disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters, primarily young people, the elderly, and people of color. It is bad policy for the state and will cost the state millions of dollars to implement and defend in court at a time when we are cutting money from public education and the state universities. While there may be provisions that make sense in this bill they are not worth disenfranchising thousands of voters.
03-06-2017
Anonymous []
PRO
I support HF516
03-06-2017
Brandon Banker []
PRO
I support HF516
03-06-2017
Anonymous [self]
PRO
I fully support Voter ID. There really isn't much you can do in the modern world without an ID to prove who you are, so I am a bit perplexed as to why some folks think its a bad idea. Do they support voter fraud? People voting who shouldn't be? If not that, then the only other reason would be that those who don't support Voter ID actually think that minorities and the elderly are not smart or capable enough to get an ID, and therefore not have to live in modern society. If so, then I find that offensive. Voter ID assumes the intellectual best in our citizenry, not the worst.
03-06-2017
Nancy Porter [Iowan]
CON
Iowa has a rich heritage of voting. Please support our county auditors with E Poll Books to make life easier , but not this bill, which will make life more difficult for everyone involved and disenfranchise voters.
03-06-2017
Chelle adkins []
PRO
I support HF516. While Americans have the right to vote, we also have a duty to preserve the integrity of our elections. I have been a poll watcher since 2006. I have seen a great number of issues with our elections. The first is that it is open to human error. Incorrect data entry at the polls can cause issues for the voter later on. The second is the speed in which voting takes. With HF516, the chance of human error and the speed of voting is greatly reduced. The voter just scans their ID. There would be no data entry required. Another part of preserving the integrity of our elections is cleaning up the voter rolls. There is no reason why we cannot remove those that are deceased and those who are known to be illegal immigrants). Allowing these groups of people to remain on the rolls leave a huge opening for fraud.Many will say that voter fraud doesn't happen or that if it does occur that it's minimal. How do we know voter fraud DOESN'T happen if we aren't looking for it? And how many illegal votes are acceptable? Five? Fifty? 50,000? Who's vote should that illegal vote cancel out? Yours or mine?There isn't a reason not to require an ID to vote. Just about everyone has some form of government issued ID. For the few who don't, this bill gives them an ID for free. There is zero imposition on the poor. These are just a few of the reasons I'm supporting HF 516 and I hope that you will pass this bill so that we can have more faith in our election process.
03-06-2017
Ciara Gust []
PRO
I support HF516
03-06-2017
Kris Kuennen []
CON
As Paul Pate stated in October 2016, Iowa does not have any issues with our current election system. This bill is nothing more than an attempt to reduce voter turnout for those that typically vote Democrat. Listen to county auditors who overwhelmingly against this bill. Don't mess with something that isn't broken.
03-06-2017
Andy Cable []
PRO
Absolute necessity in in any private voting scenario is the legitimate validation of those voting.True voter suppression happens each time a non legal vote is cast and nullifies that of a legal voter ! IDs are requirement in today's society for everything from entrance to many events to purchase of many products to driving cars and receiving government aid. A minor yet necessary request for one to prove their legal rite to vote.In today's society the with the ID being free the excuse of transportation to get one is not an issue. Many service organizations would gladly give free transportation to the extremely few that fall into such category.True voter suppression happens each time a non legal vote is cast and nullifies that of a legal voter !
03-06-2017
Matthew Kearns []
PRO
I stand in support of this legislation to amend the laws regarding voting in the state of Iowa. These are common sense changes that are needed to better ensure those voting are not only from Iowa but identifying their proper residences. Providing an ID upon showing up to vote does not produce an undue burden upon a voter nor does obtaining a valid ID based upon the listed types of identification as most have a driver's license and a nonoperator's ID for voting purposes may be obtained with charge to the voter.We seek to better safeguard fair and safe elections for the future and HF 516 is a great step forward in that cause.
03-06-2017
Pat Bowen [Iowa CCI Action]
CON
Vote NO on voter ID.
03-06-2017
ColinScanes [Urbandale resident]
CON
If enacted this would make voting harder and reduce the number of people voting. How is that good public policy? This is NO, I repeat NO, evidence that there is a problem. The Republicans used to be the party for freedom and democracy. Now, it seems to be hold on to power at an cost. Restrict voting, gerrymander districts etc. DISGRACEFUL!!!
03-06-2017
Barbara Kalbach [Iowa CCI]
CON
A bill that addresses a nonproblem. No voter fraud problem has been established in Iowa. In spite of that, this bill makes it more difficult for citizens to vote: signature verification by nonprofessionals is very subjective; polls will close earlier; photo IDs required that are difficult for some citizens to obtain: a $750,000 price tag to fund a nonissue!! I thought the state of Iowa was short on money!
03-06-2017
Ryan Dokter [Sioux County Auditor]
CON
There are a couple of good aspects to this bill, but I am in disagreement with voter id, postelection audits, and pairing the preregistration deadline with the deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail. In today's world, people can obtain a fake id very easily, so requiring a photo id at the polls will do little to stop that type of fraud. The cost of providing a "free id" is very high as well, an estimated $250K to $400K to get started. The postelection audit only calls the integrity of the election into question. Manual recounts are more prone to error than a machine specifically designed to read ballot markings. We conduct public testing of our equipment to ensure it is working properly and we are constantly trying to make our processes better. Finally, pairing the preregistration deadline with the absentee by mail request deadline would suppress a number of votes. In November, this would have meant 133 ballots would not have been requested of which we received 104 back for Sioux County. It would make more sense to move the absentee ballot by mail deadline to the Wednesday before the election, rather than the Friday. It's understood that the post office sometimes can take more than 2 days to deliver mail, but in most cases Wednesday would be sufficient.
03-06-2017
Rik Shannon [Iowa Developmental Disabilities (DD) Council]
CON
Attachment
03-06-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I wish to object to the very unfair and unAmerican voting bill the REPUBLICANS and ONLY they propose. All REPUBLICANS should realize they are thwarting democracy by trying to make it harder to vote. Voter fraud is almost nonexistent.I pray to God they will see sense. John Lake
03-06-2017
Joseph Glazebrook [Election Law Attorney]
CON
I have practiced in the field of election law for several years. I was involved in blocking efforts to purge thousands of Iowans from the voter rolls, as well as litigation that established that once individuals had completed their sentence for nonserious crimes, they could once again participate in our system of government. I have also represented veterans and the specific disproportionate impact restrictions on the right to vote can have on them. Iowa has a robust method of verifying the identity of the voter when they register, or, if they are registering same day, to require ID then. In essence, Iowa already has a voter ID law. As an expert in this field, I am absolutely confident that absent a serious mistake, it would be extremely difficult for someone not eligible to vote to vote. If they did, under current law they face a felony. This law will disproportionately impact the elderly, rural voters, minority voters, and veterans. Each of these groups benefits from the excellent expanded voting options in Iowa enacted by good legislators from both parties over the years. It is concerning that lawmakers are targeting veterans and seniors while massively increasing the cost to vote in this state. Iowa is known for clean and efficient elections. Let's not move away from that tradition.
03-06-2017
Emily Guenther [Citizen]
CON
Let's prioritize updating voting systems before we create brand new systems and create new rules that will confuse and discourage voters. I am in favor of the parts of this bill that include postelection audits and the revolving loan fund for e poll books. These systems will take enough money and time to implement. I am, however, very concerned about signature verification and new voter ID cards. As far as I can tell, legislators could easily pass this bill without appropriating funds for the new voter ID cards for registered voters without other forms of identification. The law needs to be changed so that there is no voter ID requirement, or so that the requirement is much broader, if funds are not appropriated for ID cards. I live in a town with no driver's license station. Many people without cars live in my community, and would find it difficult and expensive to acquire ID. The law also does not include an option for people who may have their identification stolen or lost just before an election. Signatures change over time, and also with medical events like strokes and sprains. This law is troubling, because it would mean anyone could have their signature challenged for any reason. Let's update our terrific voting systems without creating expensive new systems. At the very least, voter ID and signature verification provisions should not be implemented quickly, and require more study and input from County Auditors, who oppose the legislation as written. Listen to election experts and move carefully. This law moves much too fast.
03-06-2017
Gail R Klearman [Individual]
CON
We have a great voting system in place already. Even Secretary Pate recognized that several months ago.Why are we wasting time and scarce resources trying to fix something that isn't broken, and ignoring real problems?
03-06-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Iowa already has a great system, and our voter turnout is above the national average.Voter ID laws SUPPRESS voter turnout, which has a NEGATIVE effect on democracy. This bill is not a priority for Iowa voters, and it creates problems where there currently are none. http://thehill.com/homenews/statewatch/322522statesfindlittleevidenceofvoterfraudinmonthsafterelection
03-06-2017
Anonymous []
CON
There is no problem with fraudulent voting. This is an unnecessary bill that will cost money that the state doesn't have. It is voter suppression
03-06-2017
Frank Hayer [Private Citizen]
PRO
I don't understand why anyone would oppose this. It would be inexpensive to provide IDs for those who don't have them. Let's eliminate this possibility to cheat
03-06-2017
Barbara Klubal []
CON
There is little to no voter fraud in Iowa. Let's spend time on REAL problems such as fair wages, cleaning up our rivers, keep our drinking water safe and adequately funding our public schools Stop wasting my tax dollars trying to solve problems that don't exist. Will someone please do a study on exactly how the millions of dollars in tax credit and breaks to large corporations benefit the people of Iowa?
03-06-2017
Anonymous []
CON
HF516We do not need election reform in Iowa! There is no evidence of any issues or problems with our current system. Extra expense and unneeded hassle for Iowa voters! We need voting to be a pleasant experience, and open to all who are eligible.Stop looking for a problem when it does not exist!Thank you
03-06-2017
Anonymous [citizen]
PRO
I support the implementation of a voter ID system in Iowa.
03-06-2017
Stormy O'Brink [I am representing myself.]
CON
I work full time with LGBTQIA Iowans. The majority of the people I serve are transgender and also impoverished, as this is the nature of being transgender in America for a variety of reasons related to discrimination. Voter ID laws will severely disenfranchise transgender Iowans, the poor, and the racially marginalized. Identification costs money to obtain and is not easy to obtain when you're living on the street. It's even more difficult to obtain when your gender presentation does not match the sex marker on your birth certificate. Transgender people in other states have been denied the right to vote because their ID card does not match their gender presentation. Others can't obtain a government ID card because they can't pay for it, find transportation to get to the nearest DMV, or have other barriers like homelessness. In the 2012 election, there were 1.5 million votes in Iowa. 8 of those votes were fraudulent, and none of those cases were strong enough for conviction. To say that you're going to spend tax payer money to solve a problem that does not exist is completely outrageous. This bill is nothing other than thinly veiled voter suppression aimed at marginalized Iowans.
03-06-2017
Scott Marron [None]
CON
This bill is a solution looking for a problem. If anything, it will have the effect of suppressing the voteand who wants that in a democracy. Please reconsider and vote NO on passage
03-06-2017
Anonymous []
PRO
This is common sense. I have to show my ID for all kinds of things, I should be required to show it to vote. Showing a valid state ID won't completely eliminate voter fraud, but it will sure put a kink in it. Absentee ballot by mail only, without a valid ID is just asking for trouble. Even if it's military personnel stationed oversees, there are all kinds of ways to electronically transfer files securely...show an ID.Thank you for considering this bill. Wish more states would follow your lead.
03-06-2017
Judi Henningsen []
PRO
I am for voter ID 100 percent. I also think theClerks at polling places should be changed at Least every 46 years. As a poll watcher I have seen how the clerks favor those of their same politicalParty and some of them have been clerkingFor over 20 years!
03-06-2017
Anonymous []
PRO
We definitely need voter registration prior to election day. We also need to show ID day of voting.We have to show ID for almost everything that we do. Voting is a right that we have earned and needs to be taken seriously.I agree with HF516
03-06-2017
Connie Evans [not representing any organization]
PRO
I served on the Election Board from about 1980 until 1996, when I ran against the incumbent Auditor. She wasn't interested in having me work for her after that even tho she won.I am proud that Iowa has a low incidence of voter fraud we need to take steps now to make sure that continues.I 100% back Mr. Pate's proposals. He is in a position to know what's going on and what needs to be fixed what should be fixed. I'd like to see his proposal passed as is. If that isn't going to work. PLEASE take steps to insure the total integrity of Iowa's vote.I would like to see the elimination of same day registration. If you're interested in voting, you can get yourself registered and allow time to be checked out and then vote. At the very least if sameday registration continues, they need to vote a challenge or provisional ballot. Same at the window for early (absentee) voters.Thank you!
03-06-2017
Roger Russ [Wapello County central committee member]
PRO
Having worked an election precinct, it would have been very helpful to have had ID's for persons. Some could not speak English. Some were questionable but still were voting.You have to have ID to write a check and other minor things. Voting is far more serious!Roger
03-06-2017
Mary Ann Dorsett [none]
CON
There is no problem with voter fraud in this state.Quit trying to fix a problem that doesn't existsolely to benefit yourselves.
03-06-2017
Lyle D Horman []
PRO
As one who has served as a precinct election official (PEO) for over 25 years, I am always concerned about the integrity of Iowa's voting processes. I support use of a photo ID at the polls. I have participated in an unofficial voting process where "voters" had to show a photo ID, and it was not burdensome to either the "voters" or the "election officials." I am not supportive of sameday registration; any reasonable measure to allow more time to validate a registration ahead of Election Day meets with my approval. My greatest concerns are with the integrity of absentee ballots (since we PEOs observe nothing about how absentee ballots are marked), with the validation process for new registrants and with deceased/moved voters remaining on Iowa's election registers. Claims that "Iowa doesn't have a problem with vote fraud" are not persuasive. Should we wait for a scandal before examining our voting procedures? Certainly not. Iowa should take all reasonable measures to insure voting integrity so our citizens maintain their confidence in our elections and so we minimize opportunities for Democrats to cheat. (There must be reasons why Democrats always argue for the loosest standards around elections. The most logical explanation is they want to keep a few loopholes available for fraud.)
03-06-2017
John Clark [Emmet County GOP]
PRO
This is a good and simple idea that will work. Prove who you are and you will be legal and you vote. Helps all of the officials who are volunteers not have to make decisions that may be compromised by false documentation like a utility bill. Let's get simple and easy!
03-06-2017
Anonymous []
PRO
I think that it's important for constituents to vote. The concern I have is that there is one vote, not a "vote early, vote often" situation. We need a way to verify that people are who they say they are, they vote in the correct polling location, and that all legitament, legal, qualified voters get to vote. There are too many stories of illegal immigrants voting, voting more than once, and hacking of votes. We need to have procedures in place to ensure our elections are properly run.
03-06-2017
Helena McFarland []
PRO
We need a photo ID with signature, I know most have drivers License, some do not! I do not like people voting before election day. Straight party voting could be stopped also! We need to know ahead who we are voting for. Only citizens have photo ID
03-06-2017
Allison Yoshimura []
CON
Last fall, our Secretary of State said that Iowa's elections were secure. Why the sudden change a few months later? This is truly a "solution in search of a problem" as no one has made a case for the existence of voter fraud. Instead, this would be a costly and unnecessary change that would at *best* cost our state money (when we apparently say we are unable to adequately fund schools) and at worst disenfranchise voters. A strong no.
03-06-2017
Alan Daut [Attorney at Law]
PRO
On election day in 2008 I was at the Kirkwood Comm. College polling place in Linn County for the GOP. (1) I was horrified by a lady from England bragging about how she got to vote for Obama even though she was not a citizen she apparently had used a water bill or lease to register and vote on the same day, and (2) I was astounded with a gentleman punching the County GOP Chairman because we objected to him voting with a fishing license as his identification, in that it was not one of the recognized forms of identification permitted for registering and voting. I think the early voting process must be ended at least two weeks before election day in order to have the opportunity to correctly ascertain the eligibility of certain voters to vote. There will also be a greater chance to maintain the integrity of the voting system by eliminating same day registration. We have to have reasonable protections in order to prevent noneligible voters from registering and voting on the same day. The chances of committing fraud are too great not to put some type of a lid on when a voter must register to vote. We must restore public confidence in the manner in which our officials are elected. Please make these reasonable changes to the voting process.
03-06-2017
Mike Meginnis [NA]
CON
This unnecessary legislation will reduce voter participation without meaningfully improving our state's election integrity; we already have an extremely low rate of vote fraud. The amount of vote fraud we see in this state could never meaningfully impact the outcome of an election. However, the changes proposed by this bill easily could.The perception that this bill is designed to suppress Democratic voters will likely backfire; party organizers and activists will be able to truthfully tell voters that the Republican party doesn't want them to vote. This will only motivate Democratic voters to turn out and make themselves heard. This bill is unnecessary, a poor use of taxpayer money, and will only serve to energize the voters it means to discourage. We will make ourselves heard in the coming years.
03-06-2017
Tracy Meginnis []
CON
I am against HF 516 because there has been no reasonable case made that we need it. Elections in Iowa are fair, open, and honest. Our rates of voter "irregularities" have already been investigated. They are impossibly small: .0084%. Most of these irregularities are the result of confusion or error, which would be multiplied, not minimized, by the bill's proof of identity and signature verification requirements. Other provisions of the bill, such as eliminating straightticket voting and rolling back time available to register, have no discernible relationship to voting integrity. They seem instead to add up to longer waits at the polls and more eligible Iowans turned away.I ask that, if the legislature wants to uproot our existing system of voting and impose extreme measures on many Iowa voters, they provide us with a stronger case. If the bill passes, I will work hard to educate my fellow Iowans on how to follow the new law so they will not be inconvenienced or turned away on election day. But I would rather that Iowa stick to our current system. It is freer, fairer, and it works.Thank you,Tracy MeginnisIowa City, IA
03-06-2017
Kevin Li [Iowa Institute for Public Accountability]
CON
The Iowa Institute for Public Accountability, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, respectfully submits this comment strongly urging against the adoption of this bill, for substantially the same reasons as those given by the ACLU of Iowa, One Iowa, and similar organizations.
03-06-2017
Harry Breaux []
PRO
I have listened to both sides for years and just can not buy into the Democrats party that it would discourage the poor from voting. This bill supplies them free of charge with an identity card. I have been a pole watcher for years and have seen some very questionable people come in to vote. I have also seen people come in and then make a phone call for advise how to vote. We need an identity card to fly, to draw money out of a bank at times, to drive, to travel on a plane or to leave or enter the country. We need an ID card to go to the doctors. So am I supposed to believe that there are thousands of people in Iowa that do not have ID cards. If that is true how do they survive. It is all spin making certain people into victims all for a political purpose.
03-06-2017
Mary Nelson []
CON
I am opposed to this bill for several reasons. First, it is unnecessary. In 2016, 1.6 million Iowa voters voted in the General Election; of those 10 have been deemed "irregular". Most of these were human error, & none involved a noneligible voter impersonating a registered voter. Iowa already has a strong system of voter verification through the county auditors across the state. Recently, the Electoral Integrity Project rated Iowa as one of the top 4 states in terms of election integrity. Second, it would be one of the most restrictive voter photo ID laws in the country, limiting the driver's license photo, for example, to an Iowa driver's license. When I first moved to Iowa, I did not change my driver's license to an Iowa license until I had lived here almost a year. If this law had been in effect at that time, I would have effectively been disenfranchised, as I would not have been eligible to vote in my former state (as I no longer lived there) or in Iowa. Third, this law would be very expensive to implement. Wisconsin, for example, spent $8 $10 million on the education component of their voter photo ID law alone. This seems very wasteful in light of the fact that we do not have a voter fraud problem in Iowa, but do have a fiscal problem. Fourth, this bill would have a differential impact on minorities & possibly other populations with limited access to a driver's license (e.g., elderly, persons with disabilities). The Washington Post recently studied this issue & found that strict voter ID laws, such as this proposed bill, result in lower voter turnout among eligible hispanic, African American, Asian American, & multiracial American voters. Voting is a constitutional right. We should not be erecting barriers to citizens exercising that right, especially barriers that disproportionaly impact some citizens & especially when there is no evidence that we have a problem with the integrity of our elections.
03-06-2017
Peggy Toft [Audubon County Republican Central Committee]
PRO
It's important to me that this bill be passed, in particular for protecting legitimate voters by checking each individual's identification.Please vote for this bill to improve the credibility of our election process.
03-06-2017
Shane Vander Hart []
PRO
This bill is simply common sense. Those who don't have IDs are provided IDs for free. Who is being disenfranchised by this bill should it become law?Only those who are not eligible to vote in Iowa which is the point.
03-06-2017
Susan Futrell []
CON
I am opposed to HF516 because I believe it will restrict, not enhance, Iowans ability to vote freely in elections. I am especially concerned about provisions to require signature verification at the polling place. I have volunteered at my local polling place and can see how easily a signature verification process could be used to question, complicate, intimidate and other wise interfere with legitimate voting, either intentionally or unintentionally, especially when based on ID such as the Iowa Drivers License remains active over long periods and which can be renewed online, meaning the signatures compared could be decades apart. I am concerned the provisions of this bill will serve to restrict, rather than enhance, voter participation and access, and will add significant costs to a system that is already working well, at a time when we should be making it easier, not harder for more people to be active, voting citizens. I also do not believe requiring additional ID beyond that currently required to register will improve voting integrity, for the reasons noted below. 1.Iowas elections are a model nationwide. Depending on the study, Iowa ranks #1, #2, or #3 in terms of integrity of the election process. The bills would not improve upon a system that is failing us. They would inflict damage on a system that is one of the top in the nation!2.The bills would make it more difficult for people to exercise their constitutional right to vote. New requirements for IDs and shortened windows for absentee or early voting would create disproportionate hurdles for the elderly, the disabled, rural populations, young people, and the poor. All citizens should have equal access to the ballot. These are the kinds of measures that have led other states election processes to be judged to have less integrity than ours! 3.The bills would result in significant costs. The new voter ID alone would cost approximately $400,000. There would be additional costs in staffing and equipment. The State of Iowa is cutting budgets for education, mental health services, and many other essential services. Rather than spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a nonexistent voter fraud problem, lets put it to better use on services that Iowans need and value! 4.County auditors overwhelmingly oppose the bills. County auditors deal with the daytoday business of making elections work. They know the technical details; they know where theres room for improvement. The current bills dont draw on their wisdom and experience in fact, legislators promoting the bills have refused to listen to the auditors recommendations. The election systems across Iowa have won national admiration, and I am proud of what we have accomplished here. Lets support a system that is working and give badly needed attention to those that aren't.
03-06-2017
David Bechtum []
PRO
I strongly support voter ID
03-06-2017
Sean Finn [University of Iowa Trans Alliance]
CON
I am a student at the University of Iowa and I grew up in Marshalltown, Iowa. To me, Iowa has almost always felt welcoming and safe. Unfortunately, there have been times when I felt alienated and invalidated. I would not describe myself as a sensitive person, and I was always successful throughout my schooling at ignoring ridicule and staving off bullying. The times in my life that have gotten to me, though, have often involved identification. As a transgender man, I have gone through a lengthy and expensive process of getting my identifying documents changed to align with who I am today. If I still had my driver's license from two and a half years ago, anyone who looked at it would probably think it was fake. If I had to continue to present that identification at restaurants, bars, or anywhere else, because I wasn't able to make the changes I did, I would likely be confronted about it very often.HF 516 would cause others like me who have been less fortunate face confrontation and harassment when trying to vote. I think many people can relate to the feeling when someone finds an old, embarrassing, and unflattering photo of you that you hate. The feeling of someone looking at an ID that doesn't match up with how you are now, or displays something about you that you don't like, is intensified to the extreme when it happens to transgender people. It is accompanied by feelings of fear, invalidation, and worries about safety. The National Center for Transgender Equality found in their National Transgender Discrimination Survey that 41% of trans people reported being harassed when presenting their ID.I know that when my ID had not yet been updated, I avoided any possible instance in which I would have to present my ID. If my ID was still not updated today, I would be very afraid to go to vote if I knew that I could be confronted about my ID, especially in public. I might even decide not to go. I know that my trans friends feel the same way.Also, as a college student, I am constantly surrounded by my peers who cam to the University of Iowa from out of state. For many of them, Iowa City is their home and where they intend to live for several years. I am against any law that takes away my fellow students' right to vote in elections that affect their own future. They, too, deserve representation representation for where the live and will continue to live while the elected officials are in office.I would like for lawmakers in the Iowa General Assembly to take a deep look into the prevalence of voter fraud in our state. From what I can tell from my own research, it is extremely insignificant. On the other hand, voter turnout is very low, and I think that is a much more important problem to address. If we care about preserving democracy, I believe we need to make voting accessible and not make it more difficult. I encourage lawmakers to think about ALL Iowans when considering HF 516 and all other legislation.
03-06-2017
Clifford Savage [Republican]
PRO
This is a subject that My wife and I are strongly interested in. We feel that any talk about depriving people to vote because they don't have or are unable to get an official Picture ID,is HOG WASH. You have to show a picture ID for so many other things and nobody says anything about it, but Voting it is seems to be a whole different thing. Yeah right. The only thing that I think is they just want to vote and maybe vote again or maybe have a problem (like they are dead) or something else that a voter id would deny. Just because there haven't been a problem here in Iowa before does not mean it couldn't happen. Get it and be more prepared. Again, we have to show picture id for so many smaller things we do why not VOTING.
03-06-2017
Michael Davies []
PRO
Please support and pass HF516.
03-06-2017
Judith Hunter [Ms.]
CON
This bill does nothing but suppress votes. Iowa has a long and proud history of fair voting; this bill, which is a solution in search of a problem, will mar that record. Please vote no.
03-06-2017
Cindy Golding []
PRO
to say that we don't have a problem because there haven't been prosecuted cases is like aying there speeding on the interstate isn't happening because the tickets haven't been issued. I am personally awaare of voter intimidation and fraud by people "collecting" absentee ballots. We need better protection of the very serious activity of citizen participation in voting.
03-06-2017
Anonymous []
CON
This bill is unnecessary and expensive. Worse, it will prevent thousands of Iowans from exercising their constitutional rights to vote. It will disproportionately disenfranchise the most vulnerable Iowans: the elderly, disabled, minorities.
03-06-2017
James K [Jordan ]
CON
Please remove this bill from consideration. Iowa's voting system is among the best in the nation. Irregularities of any kind are so very rare that it is virtually nonexistent. This is a waste of your time and our money. It is insulting to this great state. Put your partisan agenda away on this issue. Unecessary and insulting. Tear it up or vote no.
03-06-2017
Steve Meidlinger [Citizen]
PRO
I'm in favor of a voter I.D. People are required to share their identity at many times and at many different events. Why wouldn't it be advantageous for someone who is voting to prove their identity? Voting is a right and it is imperative that we protect the integrity of our right to exercise our citizenship.
03-06-2017
Anonymous []
CON
Numerous studies have indicated the absence of voter fraud. This will only suppress voting, which is the opposite of what we need for a healthy democracy.
03-06-2017
Anonymous []
PRO
We need to make sure our elections avoid corruption. A photo ID requirement helps make this so. In addition, the excuse that this will somehow inhibit anyone from voting does not hold water. Anyone who wants to participate can and will be able to do so.In addition, the creation of electronic poll books that is instantaneously updated will also help eliminate double voting opportunities and allow appropriate purging of voters who know longer are alive or live in the counties they claim. Common sense would indicate that this is not only needed but has been needed for quite some time. It would seem that the only people opposed are those who are interested in inappropriate playing of the system.I strongly endorse this bill.
03-06-2017
Christen Bain []
CON
During the 2016 Presidential Campaign Secretary Pate repeatedly stated that we do not have a voter fraud issue in Iowa. On the rare occasions that individuals do attempt to vote fraudulently, they are caught. This bill is a solution to a problem that does not exist and in the process will make it more difficult for many Iowans to vote at a time when we have a dismally low voting rate. I understand the motivation to require voter identification; but that creates issues for folks who do not have IDs, many lower income folks, younger voters in cities who have elected to be environmentally friendly and choose to take the bus instead of drive, and older voters. Since Secretary Pate has said this is not an issue in Iowa, we need to value the rights of our fellow Iowans to vote above all.We need to find ways to expand voting longer timeframe for folks to vote ahead of the election, same day registration with clear requirements, and innovative voting methods, not this bill. I urge you to vote against HF516
03-06-2017
Rachel Eliason [Individual]
CON
I'm Transgender. My community faces many barriers to getting a valid government ID. These barriers include financial issues, access to medical and legal resources.Despite this I was lucky. When I transitioned in 2008 I was able to change my ID and voter registration. At the poll that year my right to vote was challenged due to there being conflicting records on my name. In fact I faced similar challenges until 2010, when I was finally able to get the election board to permanently update my information.My story shows how the system already makes it hard for people to participate. We need to decrease the barriers, not increase them. This is why I opposse this legislation.
03-06-2017
Pamela Cooper [farmer]
PRO
Voter ID has been needed for a long time
03-06-2017
Joshua Dahle [1990]
CON
This is a costly and unnecessary measure. There is no evidence that a problem exists with voting in Iowa that this measure would fix. There are cases of voter fraud, but not any that a voter ID measure would fix (ie: someone with a felony conviction not knowing their rights to vote are permanently restricted in Iowa, or someone voting twice). There is evidence that this measure would prevent more minorities and other classes of people from exercising their rights to vote.
03-06-2017
Anonymous []
CON
I have serious concerns that, in an attempt to make the process more efficient and quicker, this bill will create an enormous amount of loose ends that the current Iowa Secretary of State administration are not devoted enough to fix. It's extremely terrifying that this bill was introduced by the Iowa Secretary of State and he is exactly the one who will be tasked with creating the Administrative Rules to govern the implementation. The current administration does not seem to be proactive with any of the loose end repercussions of the bill. THIS IS NOT A FIX IT AS YOU GO TYPE OF BILL! Imagine the number of disenfranchised people until they work out all the bugs. I don't think that is tolerable when your elected duty is to increase voter participation.The public hearing had a speaker by the name of Kim who was a Republican pollwatcher in Polk County. She mentioned witnessing people registering to vote, and subsequently voting without any documentation. Obviously she was not adequately trained by the Republican Party, or she did not know what she was doing! Those individual Election Day Registration voters who did not have documentation are allowed to vote a provisional ballot. If something was happening to the contrary, it was her duty to challenge the eligibility of those voters. Don't use your failed job as a pollwatcher to justify having voter ID, it doesn't correlate!
03-06-2017
Elizabeth Rodrigues []
CON
I am opposed to this bill for two reasons: first, because voter impersonation fraud is a not a problem in Iowa, nor has it been found to be a problem in any state in which it has been investigated. We do not need additional legislation or costly burdens for our state to bear. Second, while proponents says IDs will be mailed out to anyone who needs one, that only applies to currently registered voters. Future voters will have to navigate additional burdens to participate in our democracy. What about young people who may not be able to afford a car, insurance, or licensing, and whose birth certificates have been declared invalid for obtaining citizenship ID? What about seniors who move into our state? Our registration and ballot procedures work well. Please keep our elections free and fair and oppose this bill.
03-06-2017
David Ballou []
PRO
Bill requires Secretary of State to select counties for audit in the event an audit is called for. Counties for audit must be RANDOMLY selected.
03-07-2017
Cheryl Johnson []
CON
Studies have proven that Iowa does not have a voter fraud problem. Proposed for partisan purposes, this bill is a voter suppression effort. If enacted, it will disenfranchise legitimate Iowa voters and waste taxpayer money.
03-07-2017
John Jennison [Concerned Taxpayer]
PRO
03-07-2017
Anonymous []
PRO
I am in favor of voterid laws.However, the greater source of fraud is absentee voting. In order to combat this, we should also include ALL absentee ballots are to be sent certified mail, only to be delivered by the postal service to only the name on the envelope, requiring the id of the person receiving it.
03-07-2017
Karen Phillips [citizen]
CON
We do not have a voting problem in Iowa. Please do not tamper with our very secure system that we already have.
03-07-2017
Anonymous [None]
PRO
Please require I.D. To vote