American News Feb 25, 2021 7:21 AM EST

Iowa passes bill limiting early voting

The bill would cut Iowa's early voting period from 29 days to 20 days and reduce the absentee request period from 120 days to 70 days. It would also bar county auditors from mailing out absentee ballot applications.

Iowa passes bill limiting early voting
Ari Hoffman Seattle, WA
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The Iowa House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday night that would limit the early voting in the state.

According to KCCI, the bill would cut Iowa's early voting period from 29 days to 20 days and reduce the absentee request period from 120 days to 70 days. It would also bar county auditors from mailing out absentee ballot applications. Absentee ballots would be required to arrive by the time polls close in order to be counted, as long as they were postmarked on or before Election Day.

The bill passed the House 57-37 with six abstentions.  According to the Des Moines Register, the vote came one day after the state Senate passed the measure along party-lines.

House Speaker Pat Grassley said in a statement: "Iowans deserve an election that they can trust. One that makes it easy to vote and hard to cheat. That is exactly what they'll get with this legislation. Despite the hysteria coming from the Left, Iowa will continue to see successful elections with high voter turnout and results they can trust. With this bill, Iowa's election system will continue to set an example for the rest of the country."

Democrat Rep. Bruce Hunter told KCCI "Voter integrity is not telling an elderly person she has to jump through hoops. This is voter suppression. The dictionary definition of it."

Republican Rep. Bobby Kaufmann said he believed Iowa's 2020 election was successful, and that the bill is about improving, not a response to fraud.

"I heard time and time again in dozens of prepared remarks that this bill was derived from fraud. Fraud. Fraud. Fraud. So, I apologize for ruining your prepared remarks by emphatically stating in the beginning of this debate — in the first sentence that came out of my mouth — that this bill has nothing to do with fraud."

Democrat Rep. Sharon Steckman said, "Why are we doing this in Iowa? We had no fraud. We had a record turnout. People were happy with the way they got to vote absentee — a million people. And you better believe some of those people were Republicans, because you won."

The bill now awaits Governor Kim Reynolds signature.

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