Iowa's secretary of state calls voter ID court ruling a victory

Published: Oct. 1, 2019 at 12:05 PM CDT
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Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said a judge's ruling on Iowa's voter identification laws is a "victory for election integrity."

Earlier this week, a judge struck down parts of the 2017 voting reform law but upholding others.

The law required voters to show certain forms of identification when voting, required voters to provide an identification number on absentee ballot applications and allows county auditors to reject ballots if they believe signatures don't match a voter signature on record.

Judge Joseph Seidlin says in a ruling Monday the state may require a voter ID but election officials must issue a voter ID card to any voter who requests one. The law prohibited election officials from issuing cards to voters with a driver's license or state identification card.

He also struck the signature match provisions, saying they violate the Iowa Constitution.

The judge did uphold a provision to place voter ID numbers on absentee ballot applications. A previous version of this story said the judge had struck down this measure, but the Associated Press had this information incorrect.

"My goal has always been to make it easy to vote, but hard to cheat. Iowans have overwhelmingly voiced their support for Voter ID and this law ensures voters will be asked to provide identification before casting their ballot," Secretary of State Paul Pate said in a statement. "Additionally, the court found that the requirement of a voter verification number on an absentee ballot request places no additional burden on voters. I appreciate the District Court’s decision that upholds the principles of Voter ID and election integrity. I will continue to fight to ensure Iowa has clean, fair elections statewide.”