11/5/13

Same-Day Voter Registration Shenanigans at the Polls in Ankeny

If you're registering to vote at the polls today in Iowa, don't let a poll worker tell you that you can't register if you've got a photo ID with your current address.

That's what happened to me today at the Ankeny Free Church after I provided my driver's license to the man handling same-day registration. He asked for a second form of ID, like a utility bill, which by Iowa law is only required if your photo ID has an outdated address.

"I'm familiar with the law," I told him. "You only need one form of ID." Then, because I was suspicious of his motives, I added, "There's no voter ID law in Iowa."

"There will be, soon enough," he said. (There won't be, if Democrats continue to control the state Senate, although Secretary of State Matt Schultz has pushed hard for it.)

I demanded the registration form, and he gave it to me while he called "the office" (I didn't think to ask where he meant by that), which he said reaffirmed the two forms of ID requirement. During the phone call, he showed me his laminated same-day registration rule sheet, which, as I pointed out to him repeatedly, explicitly stated, "If your photo ID does not contain your current address, you may use another document to prove where you live if it contains your name and current address."

"I'm going to let you vote today," he eventually told me, "but know that next time you register you'll have to have two forms of ID." That's not true, unless I move in the meantime and don't update the address on my license.

After I got home I called the Polk County auditor's office to ask about his behavior. The poll worker was wrong to ask for two forms of ID, I was told, but because no voter ID initiatives were on the ballot he didn't act improperly in advocating for that.

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