WASHINGTON, D.C. — The omnibus voter suppression bill signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) in March has begun to take effect in Iowa. On Monday, the Iowa secretary of state marked 294,000 registered voters as inactive thanks to a new provision in the law that requires voters to cast a ballot in the most recent general election in order to remain categorized as “active” in the state’s rolls. The move is part of the ongoing Republican efforts to purge voter rolls and make access to the ballot more difficult for voters across the country. Before the passage of the new law, Senate File 413, voters had to miss two general elections in order to be labelled inactive.
Inactive voters are still eligible to vote, but the label is the first step in a process that could lead to eligible voters being purged from the rolls completely. If inactive voters remain inactive for four more years, their registrations will be canceled, even if they are eligible to vote. The list of 294,000 voters who were marked inactive on Monday constitutes 13% of the state’s registered voters.