Judge strikes down much of 2017 Iowa voting reform law

Des Moines Register,  October 1, 2019

"An Iowa judge has struck down as unconstitutional large portions of a 2017 voting reform law challenged by a Hispanic civil rights group and an Iowa State University student.

The law requires voters to show certain forms of identification when voting at the polls, requires voters to provide an identification number on absentee ballot applications and allows county auditors to reject ballots if they believe signatures don't appear to match a voter signature on record.

The League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa and ISU student Taylor Blair sued Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate in May 2018, challenging the law as unconstitutional saying it could lead to voter suppression.

Judge Joseph Seidlin said in a ruling filed Monday that the state may require a voter ID at the polls.

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Seidlin did find troubling a provision of the law that prohibited election officials from issuing a voter ID card to voters with a driver's license or a state-issued ID.

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He also struck the signature match provisions saying they violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Iowa Constitution.

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The judge also reversed his earlier order that says Pate cannot require a voter ID number on absentee ballot applications, allowing this provision to stand."

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