by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Washington Examiner documents the latest efforts to boost election integrity in high-profile states. Haley Victory Smith reports on Iowa’s reforms.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law on Tuesday, shortening the window for mail-in and Election Day voting in the state.
The measure, which the GOP-led Iowa Legislature approved last month, will have polling places close at 8 p.m. instead of 9 p.m. and cut the period for early voting from 29 days to 20 days.
“It’s our duty and responsibility to protect the integrity of every election,” Reynolds, a Republican, said in a statement. “This legislation strengthens uniformity by providing Iowa’s election officials with consistent parameters for Election Day, absentee voting, database maintenance, as well as a clear appeals process for local county auditors. All of these additional steps promote more transparency and accountability, giving Iowans even greater confidence to cast their ballot.”
Meanwhile, Mike Brest details recent action in the Peach State.
The Georgia state Senate passed a bill that would eliminate no-excuse absentee voting in the Peach State, a hot-button issue for the GOP following the presidential election.
The bill, S.B. 241, passed by a vote of 29-20 on Monday afternoon. Under the proposed legislation, the only voters who are eligible to vote absentee are those who are 65 years old or older, absent from the precinct, observing a religious celebration, or providing constant care for someone else. The bill is being touted by the Republican majority, who say they seek to improve voter security and confidence, while their Democratic opponents argue that the legislation will make it harder for people to vote, specifically people of color.
The measure aims to overturn a 2005 Republican-backed law allowing no-excuse absentee voting. It will now go to the Georgia House of Representatives, where the bill is expected to pass.
Expect North Carolina to consider election-law changes as well. The John Locke Foundation’s Andy Jackson recently described one worthwhile reform.