Iowa State University student files lawsuit against Iowa’s voter ID law

Iowa State University student files lawsuit against Iowa’s voter ID law
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A new lawsuit alleges that Iowa’s new voter ID law violates the state constitution and will make it more difficult for some residents to vote.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday by the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa and Iowa State University student Taylor Blair, is the first major legal challenge to the law since it was passed last year, according to The Associated Press.

The law requires that election officials ask voters for a form of identification starting this year, including during Iowa’s primary elections on June 5. This year, those without ID can sign an oath verifying their identity and still vote.

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Starting in 2019, voters will be required to have an acceptable form of ID to cast a ballot. Otherwise, they will cast a provisional ballot that will only be counted if they return later with identification.

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate called the lawsuit “baseless and politically motivated” in a statement. He also claimed that it was “apparently timed to disrupt the June 5 primary elections.”

The lawsuit alleges that the law's provisions are unclear and create unjustified restrictions on voters, which will block eligible voters from casting ballots, the AP reported.

Among the rules highlighted in the lawsuit are ones on how election officials verify ID signatures and new provisions on absentee voting.

“Each of the challenged provisions burdens the right to vote directly and by complicating and slowing down elections administration in Iowa,” the court documents state.

Blair, the student in the lawsuit, claims in the filing that he was unable to initially get a new non-photo voter card because of a mix-up with his voter registration information, according to the AP.

When he did get a card, he forgot to bring it to vote last April. Blair cast a ballot after he signed a document verifying his identity, but said that the overall experience made it more difficult to vote.