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Voter ID Lawsuit Filed Days Before Primary Election

paul pate
Kate Payne/IPR
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate

Iowa’s voter ID law, which was passed last year and is in a “soft rollout” phase, is facing a lawsuit days before the June 5 primary election. A Latino civil rights group and an ISU student said they are suing Secretary of State Paul Pate because the voter ID law is “burdensome and irrational.”

Pate said in an emailed statement the lawsuit is “baseless and politically motivated,” and his office has asked the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) for feedback on voter education initiatives.

Joe Henry is the LULAC leader for the Midwest region. He said the voter ID law was politically motivated, and his organization has met with officials about the law.

“No amount of education is going to give us the opportunity to do the absentee ballot requests way in advance of either the primary or general election,” Henry said. “No amount of education is going to prevent them from using the photo ID requirement.”

The plaintiffs are asking the court to block the law from taking effect before Tuesday’s primary. Henry said it limits the amount of time LULAC can spend doing voter outreach in Iowa.

“I am confident the law protects those rights and the integrity of elections in Iowa,” Pate said in a statement.

Katarina Sostaric is IPR's State Government Reporter