Lawmakers to Consider Election Changes Requested by Iowa Secretary of State

DES MOINES, Iowa – State lawmakers today will consider a request from Secretary of State Paul Pate to make changes in November's election after an increase in mail-in ballots.

Pate wants to allow county election workers to start opening mail-in ballots the Saturday before the election.

He also wants expired ID's to be OK'ed for election day use, and to be allowed to re-locate precinct voting sites.

Pate is now required to get approval for changes after the legislature stripped him of his emergency election powers this year.

He's specifically asking to allow outer envelopes of mail-in ballots to be opened the Saturday before the election in preparation for being counted more quickly after polls close. Election workers would not pre-open the "secrecy" envelopes that contain the mail-in ballots until election day.

Pate wants to allow the use of expired ID's for voting because some Iowans haven’t been able to renew their licenses or get an ID card at the Department of Transportation because of office closures during the pandemic.

The legislature approved Pate to send absentee ballot request forms to all voters, which he has done.

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