Iowa Senate Passes Bill to Shorten Early Voting Period

DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa Senate has passed a bill that changes the rules surrounding absentee and early voting.

The fast-moving legislation to shorten the early voting period in the state was introduced last week. Versions of the bill quickly passed out of committees in both the Iowa House and Senate.

The House could follow the Senate passage of the measure as early as Wednesday.

It would reduce the early voting period by a third as well as place new limits on absentee ballots, and create criminal charges for county auditors who don't follow state rules.

The Republican majority in the legislature strongly supports the bill, while Democrats have been vocal in their opposition.

A Monday afternoon tweet from House Democrats said 964 people signed up to speak against the measure while 22 were in support.

Republicans say it would 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 2020)

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