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Election Recount Rules Reform Bill Passes Iowa House

A House committee has approved legislation to require Iowans casting an early vote to put their voter ID number or driver’s license number on the outside of the absentee ballot envelope. It would prohibit Iowa’s Secretary of State and County Auditors from accepting private donations to help run elections. Representative Bobby Kaufmann of Wilton is one of the bill’s authors.

The bill also updates the rules for election recounts, like the one in the second congressional district that saw some counties run the ballots through counting machines and others do a recount by hand.

Representative Mary Wolfe, from Clinton, says making recount procedures the same across all counties makes sense. She’s concerned about the change to require voters to write their driver’s license number or voter ID number on what’s called the affidavit envelope for their absentee ballot. Wolfe says that needs to be prominently noted and clearly explained.

The bill also would let Iowa political parties post the date, time and location of precinct caucuses on the party’s public website. Under current law, parties have to publish that information in local newspapers.

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