Lawmakers Seek to Broaden Online Voter Registration

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DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowans could soon register to vote online, if a proposal by Secretary of State, Paul Pate, is embraced. But state lawmakers in the Senate are seeking to broaden Pate's plan to allow people without diver's licenses or state I.D. cards to register online, as well.

"Whenever you make things harder to do, people do less of it," said Senator Jeff Danielson (D - Cedar Falls), who introduced the bill. "And we believe in universal suffrage - I'd like to have 100% of eligible voters actually vote. Part of the process is making registering to vote in a way that's timely, efficient, and to do it safely."

Senator Danielson says the secretary of state's plan would include about 93% of Iowans, but there's still 7% in the state without a photo I.D. His bill would allow these people to use a "layered" system of identity verification, including a social security number and proof of residency.

The bill will be examined by a subcommittee within the Senate State Government Committee in two weeks. Senator Danielson says he expects bipartisan support.

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