Hundreds of People Attend Public Hearing on Voter ID Bill
Voter ID Public Hearing 030717
More than 240 eople signed up to give testimony last night at a statehouse hearing on a bill that would require Iowa voters to present ID’s at the polls. House File 516 brought out large numbers supporters and opponents. Secretary of State Paul Pate is the author of the measure and he spoke first. He said the bill should make it easy to vote and hard to cheat. Pate said that no one would be denied the right to vote if the bill becomes law.
“And I’m adamant about that fact and I’m going to fight to ensure voters are not disenfranchised. If you do not already have an ID we will give you one for free, automatically.”
However, Daniel Zeno of the Iowa branch of the American Civil Liberties Union said that African Americans, the elderly and people who have no permanent home could have a hard time getting an ID. But Zeno said there are also situations where the bill would hurt people who usually have no problems voting.
“The everyday Iowan, who’s walking down the street, and realizes, oh, today’s election day, and I forgot my license and I ran to the elementary school to vote. That Iowan wouldn’t be able to vote anymore. Unless they ran home and hopefully got back to the poll in time.”
The public hearing on the voter ID bill was one of three held at the state capitol yesterday. The other two were on the minimum wage bill and the measure that would dissolve the Des Moines Water Works.