Iowa Enacts Stricter Election Integrity Measures, Limits Mail-In Voting

In this Jan. 12, 2021, file photo Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds greets Iowa House Speaker Pat Gra
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed legislation Monday to establish stronger election integrity measures by curbing mail-in voting.

The Republican-controlled state House and Senate quickly passed the election integrity measure. Iowa Republicans said the legislation would protect against voter fraud.

Reynolds said in a statement Monday the bill would ensure Iowa’s election integrity. She said:

It’s our duty and responsibility to protect the integrity of every election. This legislation strengthens uniformity by providing Iowa’s election officials with consistent parameters for Election Day, absentee voting, database maintenance, as well as a clear appeals process for local county auditors. All of these additional steps promote more transparency and accountability, giving Iowans even greater confidence to cast their ballot.

The legislation would cut early voting from 29 days before Election Day to 20. Polls for state and federal elections would close at 8:00 p.m. instead of 9:00 p.m. local time. The bill also mandates mail-in ballots arrive at ballot offices by Election Day rather than counting ballots postmarked by Election Day.

Iowa Democrats said the legislation would curb voting in the bill.

Iowa Democrat Party chair Ross Wilburn said in a statement Monday:

Iowans have always had a proud tradition of participating in the democratic process with accessible and secure elections. Today, Kim Reynolds and Iowa Republicans have made it more difficult for Iowans, especially seniors and those with disabilities, to be part of this process and have their voices heard.

“This isn’t about improving our election process, it’s about continuing the Republican Party’s outrageous lies and attacks on the democratic process across the country,” the Iowa Democrat added.

Iowa GOP chair Jeff Kaufmann said Reynolds showed leadership by signing the leadership.

Kaufmann said:

I applaud Gov. Reynolds and legislative Republicans for showing Iowans that the GOP is listening to their concerns and defending the integrity of our state’s election system. … While our election systems were already strong, this bill improves upon the work Republicans did in 2017 when they passed Voter ID laws.

The state GOP chair said, “The 2020 election showed us where shortfalls in our system existed and Iowa Republicans created solutions targeted at fixing those shortfalls.”

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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