Iowa GOP Put On Notice For Voter Suppression By All-Star Lawyer

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Voting rights lawyer Marc Elias has announced that, on behalf of the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa, he has filed a lawsuit challenging suppressive new election restrictions that Iowa Republican Governor Kim Reynolds recently signed into law. The Iowa legislation is serious — among other travesties, it even punitively cuts an hour from Election Day in-person voting, although it’s difficult (to say the least) to imagine how shortening the time in which people can vote could possibly address the imaginary election integrity problems that Republicans have cited.

As summarized by Elias’s team, their new Iowa court case “claims that the bill’s voting restrictions—including shortening the absentee voting period, reducing the number of days a voter can request and return an absentee ballot, shortening the time polls are open on Election Day and more—create an undue burden on the fundamental right to vote in violation of the Iowa Constitution.” Elias, who was involved in a slew of defenses against Trump-aligned court fights over the presidential election outcome, has also filed a lawsuit over recently enacted suppressive legislation in Georgia.

In Iowa, the new legislation cuts nine days from the statewide early voting period, which, like the shortened Election Day in-person voting hours, has little to do with cutting down on the supposed election fraud that isn’t even actually present like certain Republicans have claimed.

The Iowa legislation also, as Elias noted, cuts the time in which voters can return mail-in ballots and have them counted. Previously, “ballots placed in the mail the day before Election Day could be counted as long as they arrived by noon the following Monday,” the Des Moines Register explains. Now, mail-in ballots must be received by the time that polls close on Election Day to count, no matter postal delays or any other issues. Ex-President Trump has claimed that extended ballot counting periods harbored fraud, but there is no legitimate evidence for this claim.

Elsewhere, Republican state legislators have faced substantial pushback over their voter suppression efforts. Major League Baseball recently announced that they’d be moving the All-Star Game out of Georgia in protest of the state’s new voting restrictions. Among other controversial provisions, the bill imposes new voter ID requirements around mail-in voting, although no systematic problems were discovered with the state’s previously employed signature verification system for mail-in ballots. As elsewhere, punitive voter ID requirements could unfairly impact disadvantaged communities.