DES MOINES, IOWA — Less than 24 hours after Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill putting new restrictions on voting in Iowa, a lawsuit has been filed challenging it.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) filed the suit in Polk County on Tuesday. They refer to the measure – SF 413 – as the “Voter Suppression Bill” and challenge that it is unconstitutional because it isn’t rooted in reality.
“This is because the Bill is an exercise in voter suppression, one disguised as a solution for a problem that exists only in the fertile imaginations of its creators,” the lawsuit reads.
The new law lowers the number of early voting days in Iowa and shortens the hours for in-person voting on Election Day. In 2020 Iowa saw record voter turnout. The Iowa Secretary of State’s Office has not identified any widespread voter fraud in Iowa during the 2020 election. The lawsuit argues that the new law addresses a non-existent issue of voting fraud in Iowa and will only serve to keep Iowans away from the polls, not increase security.
The new voting law was framed as an attempt to ensure “election integrity” during debate in the Iowa legislature. It passed the Republican-controlled House and Senate with zero votes from Democrats. LULAC contends the lack of need for the bill makes it unconstitutional. “There is nothing inherent in the system that would call the integrity of the state’s elections into question or require remedial action from the Legislature, let alone these extreme measures that will impose significant burdens on voters,” the lawsuit reads.
One of the bill’s most vocal proponents, State Senator Jim Carlin of Sioux City, has said the majority of elected Republicans in Iowa believe that the 2020 election was “stolen” from President Trump. There is no evidence that any widespread voter fraud was perpetrated before, during or after the election that would affect the outcome of the election. President Joe Biden was legally elected as the 46th President of the United States and that election was upheld according to constitutional standards by the Electoral College and the US Senate.
Governor Reynolds’ office has not issued a response to the lawsuit. After signing the new voting restrictions into law, the Governor released this statement on Monday:
“It’s our duty and responsibility to protect the integrity of every election. 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.”Governor Kim Reynolds, (R) Iowa