by Haley Meyer
On Monday, Feb. 13, I was able to go to Des Moines and spend the day at the Capital. While there I was able to attend a meeting with Secretary of State Paul Pate where he discussed his Voter Integrity Bill, which will go to debate sometime next week. There have been many different arguments about the bill saying that it will prevent many from voting and that it is just a way for Republicans to suppress votes. He clarified several things for us that make it evident that this is not what this bill is about.
One of the major points that he made was that his job is the make it easy to vote, but hard to cheat. The way that this bill works is by requiring every voter to have a state-issued ID. If they do not have one, the state will provide them with one for free. This especially affects college students. He is also advocating that state universities secure their ID cards and align them with the regulations the state sets. It also doesn’t require a picture, meaning there is no extra travel required to obtain this ID. Simply, people request one from the state and verify that they are who they say they are and that they live where they say they do. This bill also doesn’t change the current registration process. Election Day registration would continue under the proposal.
Secretary Pate stated that his bill does nothing more than to help ensure that a fair election process occurs in Iowa. He also said that one instance of voter fraud is too many. Without fair elections, trust for the system fades. All this bill asks is that we respect the integrity of elections and create a place that allows people to vote fairly and freely without worrying their vote’s unimportant or will go uncounted.