A new piece of legislation being considered by Iowa lawmakers would bring sweeping changes to Iowa's election laws. County auditors and other officials provided their thoughts on the proposal at a hearing yesterday at the Iowa Capitol.

Among the potential changes are polls in the state closing an hour earlier for some elections, and public universities and other state-owned buildings no longer being used as satellite voting stations. Supporters of the proposed bill say that their goal is to make Iowa elections safe and fair.

Some of the highlights of the proposed bill incldue:

  • Polls would close for Iowa elections at 8 p.m.
  • Absentee ballots would have to be received by the auditor by Election Day. Currently, absentee ballots need only to be postmarked by Election Day.
  • Election officials would be required to verify signatures on absentee ballots.
  • College students would be asked if they planned on living outside of Iowa after graduation. If they answer yes, they'll be taken off voter registration lists.

Some organizations, including the League of Woman Voters, are concerned that the new rules would make it more difficult for some to vote. They cite the reduced hours and lack of satellite locations as a reason for concern.

If the bill passes through another subcommittee today it will remain up for consideration for the current legislative session.


[via Gazette]

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