Democracy Alerts

Iowa Senate Moves to Restrict Early Voting

February 24, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Voting along party lines, Iowa’s Republican-led State Senate approved a bill Tuesday that would enact a host of new voting limitations in the state, including shortening the state’s early vote period by nine days. 

SF 413 would require polling places to close at 8:00 PM on Election Day, an hour earlier than the current time. It would also prevent counties from mailing voters absentee ballot request forms unless they are explicitly requested and requires mail ballots be received by Election Day. Currently, ballots mailed before Election Day can be counted if they are received by the following Monday. 

The move follows months of Iowa lawmakers sowing doubt in the results of November’s election, including State Senator Jim Carlin of Sioux City, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2022. Carlin, a supporter of the bill, stated “most of us in my caucus and the Republican caucus believe the election was stolen.” There is no evidence of fraud or “vote-switching” that would have altered the 2020 election result, in Iowa or elsewhere. 

Democrats in the State Senate voted unanimously against the bill. The bill is expected to pass the Republican-controlled Iowa House. 

Read SF 413 here.

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