Over the last several years, Iowans have faced unnecessary challenges due to voting restrictions that have made it harder to vote, especially voting by mail. Since 2017, the number of days to vote early in person or by mail has been reduced from 40 days to just 20 days. And just last year, Republican legislators changed the law again to say completed ballots have to be received in the auditor’s office by 8pm on Election Day in order to be counted, regardless of whether or not a postmark could prove it was mailed before Election Day. They also made it a crime for a voter to have a trusted friend or anyone other than an immediate family member or caregiver deliver a completed ballot to the auditor’s office, a drop box, or a mailbox. And they’ll mark voters inactive after missing just one general election.
This is unacceptable in a democracy. Voting is one of our most important rights and responsibilities as citizens and we should be doing everything we can to foster trust and a spirit of civic engagement. We must make it easier, not harder, for people to vote, whether they choose to exercise their right by mail or in person on Election Day.