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Iowa Senate Passes Bill To Change Election Laws

iowa senate
John Pemble
The Iowa Senate chambers.

Since it was introduced just last week, a wide-ranging election law bill has been rapidly moving through the legislative process at the Iowa Statehouse.

Yesterday, it passed the Iowa Senate. The bill would reduce Election Day voting by an hour, (from 9 p.m. to 8 p.m. for all elections,) create a stricter deadline for returning absentee ballots and shorten Iowa's early voting period by nine days, from 29 to 20.

The Senate approved the bill on a party-line vote of 30-18, with every Republican in support and every Democrat opposed. A lengthy debate beforehand included claims of voter fraud and worries about voter suppression.

On this politics day edition of River to River, Ben Kieffer asks analysts how this bill would impact Iowa's elections long-term, and how national politics have become more localized.


  • Sara Mitchell, F. Wendell Miller Professor of political science, University of Iowa
  • Chris Larimer, professor of political science, University of Northern Iowa
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River