CORBIN: Coalition Forms To Stop Anti-Election Laws | Columnists


Thirteen months ago, the 2020 general election had the highest turnout in the US – 66.7% – in more than a century. It is alleged that the former president (Donald Trump) and some die-hard GOP attempted a coup in the U.S. Capitol (Jan. 6), overturned the electoral college process, and made the loser president. Since that election, lawmakers from 44 states have tinkered with the electoral process with some positive and negative results.

Legislators from 25 states have enacted 62 laws to expand electoral access. These politicians “responded to Americans’ will to vote by making it easier for eligible voters to vote” (Brennan Center for Justice, Oct. 4).

Unfortunately, 19 states have 33 laws in place making it difficult for citizens to vote: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. (Bed)

Ten pro-democracy organizations in Iowa appear to be the first in the nation to form a coalition saying “enough-is-enough” about Iowa’s GOP triple-controlled House, Senate and Governor passing anti-electoral laws this spring 2021. They bring their case to Iowa registered voters in hopes of petitioning the leaders of the 89th Iowa General Assembly with their signatures. Iowa’s new legislative term begins January 10, 2022.

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The petition calls on the legislature to repeal Sections SF413 and SF568 from the newly enacted Voting Act. In summary, the groups argue that Iowa law makes voting more difficult, disqualifies voters more easily, cuts voting time by 31%, makes it difficult to conduct elections, and encourages political party interference in elections. Registered voters can sign the petition on the following website:

Alliance maintains the net effects of the new Iowa Electoral Act on Section SF413: reducing the deadline for applying for postal ballot papers, reducing the deadline for delivering postal ballot papers, eliminating the sending of postal ballot papers to voters who do not specifically request forms, Restriction of support for the return of postal ballot papers, restriction of the number, location or availability of postal voting boxes, restriction of the availability of polling stations and restriction of the days and hours for early voting (ibed).

The consortium rejects Section SF 568 of the new Iowa Electoral Act because it restricts support for the return of ballot papers and raises the barriers for voters with disabilities (ibed).

Terese Grant, president of the League of Women Voters of Iowa (LWVIA), believes Iowa’s new electoral law will deprive voters of the right to vote and is an attempt to disqualify voters – and restrict the right to vote – a constitutional right to vote. “Defending democracy has been our motto since we were founded in 1920, and we have always advocated open and transparent government, including the right to vote,” said Grant. She continued, “Democracy works best when more people – not fewer – are involved. Petitioning to repeal Sections SF413 and SF568 is one way Iower can get involved and notify their duly elected legislators of their opposition to the newly introduced Iowa Anti-Electoral Act ”(personal communication, Nov. 19-27).

LWVIA’s co-sponsors against the Suffrage include the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa; Common Good Iowa; Iowa Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc .; Iowa Interfaith Alliance; Iowa stocks; Des Moines Chapter, The Links, Inc .; Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO; Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault; and Sierra Club Iowa Chapter.

The US House of Representatives has already passed the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Both Senate laws will protect racial and minority suffrage, reform campaign finance, and create uniform electoral standards in all 50 states. If the senators were asked to pass these laws, it would eliminate state lawmakers from 19 states that play games on the valued citizen’s right to vote.

Steve Corbin is Professor Emeritus of Marketing at the University of Northern Iowa. His opinions do not reflect those of the University of Northern Iowa. Reach him at [email protected]


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