Iowa House majority leadership is stalling a bill that benefits all voters, and instead pushing a bill that will likely cause more problems than it solves.

With the recent purchase of paperless touchscreen voting machines in over 60 counties, many Iowans will be unable to verify that their votes are correctly recorded. Their ballots — in the form of proprietary computer code — are hidden from view.

Iowa needs passage of SF351 to require voter-verified paper records. This will make meaningful audits and recounts possible, and increase voter confidence in the integrity of our elections. It is a truly nonpartisan measure, and both Democratic and Republican candidates for secretary of state have spoken in support of it.

But instead of taking action on SF351, House leaders are pushing a bill to require government-issued voter ID cards at the polls. This despite any evidence of a problem in Iowa with people impersonating registered voters. Requiring IDs may lead to delays at the polls, as voters without IDs will have to use provisional ballots. Delays and provisional ballots are known to decrease voter participation and confidence in elections.

Voter-verified paper trails will increase voter confidence. The House leadership should act in the public interest and pass SF351 now.

Carole Simmons


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