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Iowa Groups Urge Early Voting for Midterm Elections

In 2017, the United States Elections Project said 93 percent of Iowa's eligible population is registered to vote. (sos.iowa.gov)
In 2017, the United States Elections Project said 93 percent of Iowa's eligible population is registered to vote. (sos.iowa.gov)
October 11, 2018

DES MOINES, Iowa – Voting in Iowa next month will include a soft rollout of the state's new ID law that requires voters to show identification, but nonpartisan groups still say voting is easy, and they want to see a large turnout for the midterm election.

AARP state director Brad Anderson says his group is working alongside Iowa's Latino Political Network and state auditors who want to educate voters about this year's changes.

According to Anderson, they want to make sure voters who are most affected by issues such as Social Security, Medicare, prescription drug costs and individual financial security have easy access.

"Iowa does have some new voting laws, and we are targeting Iowa's 50-plus community as well as Latino voters because historically they are among the most impacted by new election laws, and the 50-plus community in particular has been historically the largest voting bloc in the state of Iowa," he states.

Iowa's voter ID law officially takes effect for the 2019 elections.

For next month's midterm, people who don't bring identification to the polls can still vote, but need to sign an oath verifying their identity.

Rob Barron, co-founder of the Latino Political Network, says the network formed three years ago to increase civic engagement among the state's Latino population after noting its significant under-representation as elected officials across the state.

He says the network's website has optimized all of its documents in English and Spanish to encourage voter turnout.

"One of the on-ramps to engagement in public life is voting, and this really represents the most significant effort that I've ever seen to engage voters in Spanish in Iowa," he points out.

AARP Iowa, the Latino Political Network and statewide county auditors next week will host awareness and education events in five cities, including Bettendorf, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Mason City and Shenandoah.

To find out times and locations, go to aarp.org/ia.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - IA