Voter I.D. law getting a workout during primaries

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The primary voting in Iowa on Tuesday is another test run on Iowa’s relatively-new Voter I.D. law. This election, poll workers will ask for a valid I.D. But voters can still cast a ballot even if they can’t produce one.

Poll workers at one polling place told TV9 that most voters seem to have heard about the new rule. And many will typically have a driver’s license or another accepted form of identification in hand as they approach the check in table.

Auditor’s offices are calling what poll workers are doing on Tuesday a “soft” rollout of the rules that get stricter next year.

Poll workers will ask to see some form of I.D. Accepted forms are an Iowa Driver’s License, new state voter card, military identification and several other types.

Those who can’t produce an I.D. can sign a form swearing they are a registered voter. The ballot will count immediately.

Bill Schoon said he had several forms of identification but would not show it to poll workers this election. He said it was his way of protesting the Voter I.D. law.

“I have previously worked as a registrar for precinct voting. Never saw any problems. I just don’t think it’s something needed and it’s a waste of money,” School said.

Linn County Auditor Joel Miller said he had heard of a couple of similar protests like this during voting in April. While he too opposed the Voter I.D. law, he said doing that at the polls could disrupt the process and perhaps chase some voters in line away.

“It’s OK to protest. But if you’re costing somebody else time they don’t have and they walk off without voting what did you really accomplish?” Miller asked.

Next year, those who attempt to vote at the polls without a valid identification will either get turned away or have to cast a “provisional” ballot which is set aside on election day and held.

That would mean returning to an election office with a valid I.D. to have the vote counted later.

Forrest Voss, another primary voter, said he didn’t mind the new requirements at all.

“You fly on an airlines, you have to show your passport or something. This is important for Americans and I believe showing my driver’s license is not problem,” he said.

Poll workers reported only a handful of people with outdated addresses or other issues that required some extra steps to vote on Tuesday.