Laws that might change how Iowans vote is basically opposed in public listening to

Iowans shared his opinion on Monday on a recently introduced electoral law that would shorten the early term, reduce the number of ballot boxes, and put criminal limits on accountants. and of the nearly 1,000 people who signed up for the public hearing, only 23 people were on the bill.

Rep Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, introduced House file 590 As a proponent of the bill, he said it was designed to ensure Iowans have confidence in Iowa’s voting process.

Kaufmann said during Monday’s hearing that lawmakers intend to send the electoral law to Governor Kim Reynolds’ desk by Wednesday night.

“This bill is about the integrity of the elections,” said Kaufmann. “The greatest form of voter suppression is a very large proportion of voters who do not believe in our electoral system. For some political or non-political reason, thousands of Iowans have no faith. ”

Members of the public who support the bill say the discussion of the bill is important in order to address any shortcomings in the voting system.

This legislation aims to shorten Iowa’s early voting period to 18 days instead of the previous 29 days, limit the collection of postal ballot papers, and set criminal limits for state auditors who fail to comply with state rules regarding their districts voting process. At the end of the hearing on Monday, Kaufmann said he would amend the bill so that the early voting deadline is 21 days.

House File 590 is related to Senate File 413 and both will be discussed this week in the Senate on Tuesday, February 23rd and in the House on Wednesday, February 24th.

Janice Weiner, a member of the Iowa City Council, said reviewers need sufficient time to respond and process incoming votes. The bill would also affect people in assisted living communities who normally rely on ballot collection to return their ballots, as sometimes they have no other option to cast their vote.

Around 1.7 million Iowans voted in the 2020 elections, breaking the state’s previous voting records.

“Shortening the window of absence puts barriers, snowbirds, domestic violence victims, the elderly and many in rural areas at a disadvantage,” Weiner said at the hearing.

Opponents of the law are also concerned about the effects of the legislation on disabled Iowans. Members of the forum said the bill will affect how people can be helped and where ballot boxes are located.

“We know that people with disabilities vote more than ever, and we believe this bill should focus on accessible ways in which to exercise one’s voice rather than restrictions,” said Bill Kallestad, Iowa’s public policy manager Development Disability Council.

Emily Russell, a freshman law student at Drake University, spoke out in favor of the bill during the public hearing. She said that cases of electoral misconduct are a very serious matter, which is why this bill would be effective in preventing such problems.

The fraudulent election debate has been going on since November 3, 2020, when a record number of votes were cast in both postal and postal votes. Allegations by Iowans of voting twice in person and in absentia sparked debate. However, No evidence of election fraud was found in Iowa.

As previously reported by The Daily Iowan, Legal action has been taken in three Iowa counties to pre-fill absence requests. These counties’ examiners then invalidated the application forms and resubmitted the relevant forms to Iowans who may have used the pre-filled forms.

Given the mistakes made by the Iowa accountants for submitting the wrong forms, Russell hopes the bill will keep things consistent across the state and prevent similar problems in the future. She added that the state-country split is caused by disputes over whether or not this bill can fix the election.

“We were more divided than ever, fueled by these cases of potential electoral fraud. I expect this bill will help people regain confidence in our elections, and it will help build confidence in the state, “Russell said.

While there has been no evidence of electoral fraud in the state, the Iowans are divided on the issue. Weiner said no laws were broken and there was no fraud.

“The remedy for the big lie of a stolen election is not to deal with electoral laws, which work exceptionally well, but simply to tell the truth,” Weiner said.

Deidre DeJear, Democratic nominee for Iowa Secretary of State in 2018 and chairman of the Iowa Campaign for current Vice President Kamala Harris, said Iowa has a long and rich history of advocating for all people and that this bill is the state would push back.

The 1.7 million voters across the state, DeJear said, were paramount in showing everyone what democracy is about.

“The first elections in this country were limited to white male homeowners. See how far we’ve come,” DeJear said. “Let’s not restrict democracy, but simply allow democracy to exist. This calculation doesn’t do that. “

Rep. Mary Mascher of D-Iowa City said no Iowans asked for these changes to Iowa electoral law and that the majority of the hearing reports came from people who opposed the bill. Kaufmann did not agree with this statement.

“The bill was processed quickly and this usually occurs when a majority party decides they want to get something done quickly without people being able to fully understand what is actually on the bill. I don’t even think that at the moment the public really knows what’s on the bill or not, ”said Mascher.

Kaufmann said Republicans believe some accountants have knowingly broken the law and that they should have an impact in the future. Three weeks is how much time Iowans will have to vote absent, and he said that was enough time.

“This is not about suppressing voters and not a single vote is suppressed. It is now easy to vote absent and that will be done after the law comes into effect, ”said Kaufmann.

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