WASHINGTON, D.C. — Iowa’s Republican-controlled House joined the Iowa Senate in passing major voter suppression legislation late Wednesday evening, sending the bill to Gov. Kim Reynolds’ (R) desk for her signature.
The two companion bills — House File 590 and Senate File 413 — would shorten the state’s early vote period by nine days, shorten Election Day hours and limit each Iowa county to one ballot drop box. The bill would also prohibit counties from mailing voters absentee ballot request forms unless they are explicitly requested and requires mail-in ballots be received by Election Day. Currently, ballots mailed before Election Day can be counted if they are received by the following Monday.
“Voter integrity is not telling an elderly person she has to jump through hoops. This is voter suppression. The dictionary definition of it,” said Democrat Rep. Bruce Hunter.
After a five-hour debate, the bill passed along party lines — 57-37 — despite heavy public criticism.
The move follows months of Iowa lawmakers sowing doubt in the results of November’s election, including state Sen. Jim Carlin of Sioux City, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2022. Carlin, a supporter of the state Senate 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.