elections

Gage Skidmore/flickr

 

Like “a knife fight in a brawl” – that’s how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell describes the close Senate midterm races.

 

On this politics day edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer and guests Wayne Moyer, Rosenfield Professor and professor of political science at Grinnell College, and Scott Peters, professor and department head at the University of Northern Iowa’s Department of Political Science, take stock with just over 50 days remaining before the midterm election.

 

Mrs. Gemstone/flickr

A qualified voter in a special schoolboard election in Washington County Tuesday was turned away at the polls, and election officials are promising better training in the future about Iowa’s new voter ID law.   

Susan McClellan arrived at the polling place in Wellman for the Mid-Prairie School Board election without her driver’s license.  

For this year, Iowa’s new voter ID law requires poll workers to ask for an ID, but to offer the voter the option of signing an oath of identification instead.

Samir Luther

The Trump administration wants to allow states to set their own emissions standards for coal-fueled power plants. The plan is a rollback of Obama-era pollution rules.

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer gets reaction to the proposal from Iowa’s energy sector, and guests estimate how much the new rules will change the course of Iowa’s energy future, especially since Iowa is a national leader in wind energy.

Guests include: Dan Lutat of Iowa Lake Community College and Justin Foss of Alliant Energy.

Joyce Russell/IPR

Petitioners challenging Iowa’s voter ID law were in Polk County District court Friday, urging a district judge to temporarily halt enforcement of parts of the law. 

Ames resident Taylor Blair and the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa are suing Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate over the law.

The requirements in the law to show identification at the polls don’t go into effect until next year.  But on Friday, lawyers for the plaintiffs argued for a temporary injunction to stop the parts of the law that are already in effect dealing with absentee ballots.   

Kate Payne / IPR

Democrat Abby Finkenauer will face the Republican incumbent Congressman Rod Blum in the general election in November, after beating out three other Democratic challengers. 

paul pate
Kate Payne/IPR

The state’s top elections official says the state's voting systems are buffeted by cyber attacks. Now Iowa's secretary of state is launching a new partnership to try and insulate the department.

Floyd County Government. / http://www.floydcoia.org/441/Jail

Voters in a North Iowa county approved a $13.5 million bond Tuesday to build a new jail. More than 68 percent of Floyd County voters signed off on the referendum, clearing the 60 percent threshold needed to pass. Pressure to rebuild the 77 year old facility has been building for years.  An inspector from the state Department of Corrections first labeled the Floyd County facility inadequate in 2013.