Iowa Elections Chief Won’t Seek More Funds To Educate Public About Voter ID

February 3, 2017 3:10 p.m.

Republican Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate has proposed requiring voters to present a government-issued ID, but does not think that such a measure would require the state to set aside funds to raise public awareness about the rule.

“We are not asking for any additional funding for this, because educating and encouraging people to vote is part of the duties this office already conducts,” Kevin Hall, a spokesman for Pate, told the Associated Press.

Instead, his office said Pate, who oversees the state’s election process, would use existing funds to educate Iowa residents about a voter ID requirement.

Hall told the AP that a public awareness campaign would include social media outreach, radio and television ads, and newspaper editorials. He also said that the government would meet with key groups who could spread the word about the new requirement, which isn’t expected to go into effect until 2019.

Republicans state Sen. Roby Smith, who leads the committee that will review the voter ID bill, told the AP that he trusts Pate’s math but still plans to look over the budget needs.

“We’ll have discussions. We’ll make sure there’s adequate amount of money to get it out,” he said. “And we’ll take a look at his budget and make sure there’s enough money in there.”

Correction: This post initially stated that Pate’s proposal would require voters to present a photo ID. The proposal merely requires voters to present a government-issued ID. Under the proposal, the state government would issue free voter IDs to residents who do not already have a government-issued ID, and those cards would not have a photo.

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