Bill to Shrink Early Voting Quickly Moving Through Iowa Legislature

DES MOINES, Iowa - A bill to shrink the window for early voting in Iowa could pass through the state legislature early next week.

Committees in both the House and Senate passed bills Thursday, and the full House could vote on its version Monday.

The bills shorten the early voting period by a third, and also places new limits on absentee ballots.

Iowa voters used absentee ballots in record numbers during November's election, and set a record for overall voting.

The bills further create new criminal charges for county auditors who don't to follow state rules.

They've passed through committees with the support of Republican majorities, who say who say it will prevent widespread voter fraud and make sure voting is done in the same way across the state. Republicans also say the legislation will shorten the election cycle for voters.

The bills are opposed by most county auditors, and Democrats who say it amounts to voter suppression. All Democrats have voted against the bills so far.

The bills being considered would:

  • Shorten the early voting period from 29 days to 18.
  • Prevent auditors from sending out absentee ballots until mid-October;
  • Bar auditors from mailing absentee ballot request forms (Secretary Paul Pate sent absentee ballot request forms to all voters in 20200
  • Call for absentee ballots to be returned only by care givers and immediate family members
  • Allow for only one early ballot drop box in each county
  • Require the state attorney general to investigate all accusations of voter fraud

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content