Making voting less accessible to eligible voters is wrong, and that’s just what lawmakers in Iowa have done.
Earlier this month, Iowa was a model in the nation. Knowing that elections under the cloud of COVID-19 would be problematic, the Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate sent out ballot request forms to every eligible voter.
Because of this, Iowa's primary elections went off without the hours-long line waiting that occurred elsewhere in the country as polling sites were slashed.
Pate made Iowa's primary election more accessible and helped Iowans stay safe by being able to vote from home.
Not everyone was celebrating this achievement, however. The Republican-led legislature passed legislation requiring Pate seek legislative approval before he pulls a stunt like making voting more accessible again.
Then, Gov. Kim Reynolds rubber stamped the odd move by the legislature.
She didn't seem proud, nor should she be. When she signed the bill that included the restrictive language on Friday, there was no comment and it was merely in a list of 29 other bills she signed.
The Iowa primary brought us record turnout for a primary. More than a half-million voted in the state, up 70,000 from the previous record. That should be celebrated.
There wasn't widespread voter fraud. Voters were only sent registration forms automatically, not the ballots themselves. But Pate allowed Iowans to speed up the process, but not by sacrificing the integrity of the election.
And we now know that this expedited, but still secure, process led to a larger number of voters.
Instead of building on the momentum of record voter turnout, Republicans have instead hamstrung the process with artificial and unnecessary roadblocks to prevent a similar act later this year for the general election, or ever.
Voting is a sacred American right. It is vitally important that our state, and country, deploys a system that is secure and ensures eligible voters are the ones casting ballots.
There have been no allegations of voter fraud, no allegations of a single voter casting multiple ballots, or that ineligible voters were able to submit votes.
The Iowa Legislature has rushed to fix a problem that doesn't exist, and instead will make it more complicated for registered voters to vote by mail, extend the process and make it harder for county auditors to facilitate ballots.