Judge upholds Iowa voter ID requirement, strikes down other provisions of law

Judge upholds Iowa voter ID requirement, strikes down other provisions of law

A judge in Iowa on Monday struck down parts of a 2-year-old state voting law but said a provision requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls could stand, according to Iowa Public Radio.

While District Judge Joseph Seidlin said in his ruling that the photo ID requirement did not violate the state constitution, he struck down a section of the 2017 law that bars the secretary of state from issuing voter ID documents to people who appear in department of transportation identification records.

ADVERTISEMENT

The judge found that any registered voter who requests a voter ID card should be able to obtain one, regardless of whether their name appears in the department's files.

Seidlin, who was appointed by Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) in 2018, also struck down a part of the law that allows county auditors to reject absentee ballots if they suspect the paperwork was signed by someone else.

Additionally, he made permanent an order blocking the secretary of state from rejecting absentee ballot applications that do not include a voter verification number.

In his ruling, Seidlin wrote that under Iowa law, county auditors must use state databases to fill in any information missing from state databases.

The state’s GOP-controlled legislature passed the law in 2017, prompting a legal challenge from an Iowa State University student and the civil rights group the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).

LULAC argued that Iowa created disproportionate burdens for elderly and poor voters as well as people of color with the law, while the state argued the requirements apply to all voters across the board rather than singling any out.

The ruling Monday is subject to appeal from either party.

The state attorney general's office referred The Hill to the Iowa secretary of state, which did not immediately return a request for comment Tuesday.

The Hill has also reached out to LULAC for comment.