Judge upholds Iowa statute requiring voter ID at the polls

October 15, 2019

Parts of a two-year-old Iowa law that require voters to show identification at the polls were upheld by a state District Court judge in September. Opponents of the 2017 law (HF 516) argued that the ID requirement suppressed voting by certain groups of citizens. Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate has said the law aims to “make it easy to vote, but hard to cheat.”

Under the law, Iowans wanting to vote must present one of the following: a driver’s license or non-operator ID, a U.S. passport, a U.S. military ID or veteran’s ID, a tribal ID or document, or a state-issued voter ID card. The secretary of state’s office automatically mails voter-ID cards to registered Iowa voters who do not have a driver’s license or non-driver identification.

In the Midwest, states vary considerably on their ID requirements. In Indiana, Kansas and Wisconsin, photo ID must be shown at the polls in order to cast a regular ballot. The laws in Michigan and South Dakota allow individuals without a photo ID to sign an affidavit and cast regular ballots. North Dakota and Ohio have non-photo-ID requirements. No identification is required by most voters in Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska, according to Vote.org.