Some Iowans To Receive New Voter Registration Cards To Clarify Voting Requirements

Aug 27, 2018

Some Iowans who registered to vote this summer and received their voter registration cards in the mail are about to receive a second mailing with updated cards. 

That follows a court ruling directing the secretary of state not to distribute materials that say an ID is required to vote this year.    

Plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the law complained that the secretary of state’s office was distributing materials saying voter identification is required at the polls this year, when that’s not required until next year.    

"We're trying to make sure everyone has the correct information." Kevin Hall, Iowa Secy of State Spokesman

Plaintiffs say that misinformation showed up in a Facebook post.   This summer it appeared on new voter registration acknowledgements.    

The secretary of state is sending out a second mailing to 22,000 voters who registered between July 25th and August 17th with a revised card clarifying that either a voter ID or a signed oath of identification will be accepted at the polls in November.

“We’re trying to make sure everyone has the correct information,” Hall said.  “The lawsuit that was timed to be sent out right before the June election has made that more difficult.”

"There should be a do-over." LULAC Dir. Joe Henry

The second mailing will also clarify that a voter identification number or pin number won’t be required to obtain an absentee ballot.   The court has put that new requirement on hold until the lawsuit challenging Iowa’s new voter ID law is settled.

“Receiving an updated registration acknowledgement does not mean voters are registered more than once,” Hall clarified in a statement.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit, the League of United Latin American Citizens, said that the misinformation about what will be required at the polls in November will discourage voting.   A district court ordered the secretary of state to correct the information and the Iowa Supreme Court agreed.

“There should be a do-over,” said LULAC Director Joe Henry.

Hall said the  new cards are being mailed Monday and should arrive within the next two weeks. 

This story was updated on Aug. 28th to clarify that the new cards are being sent only to people who registered to vote between July 25th and August 17th, and that the court ruling did not specifically instruct the secretary of state's office to send out new cards.