Protect the Vote!

Last update Tues, June 16 @3pm

For the June primary election, in response to the health risks posed by Covid-19, Secretary of State Paul Pate mailed out absentee ballot applications to every registered Iowa Voter. The result was an all time record for voter turn out. The election was such a success that it inspired Secretary Pate to write an Editorial in the Des Moines Register, beaming that "Iowans are amazing."

The state legislature voted to minimize the vote!

In the week of June 8, State Senator Roby Smith introduced an amendment to House Filing 2486 (HF2486) that would prevent the Secretary of State from sending absentee ballot applications to all Iowa voters in November. The measure also included new voter ID requirements on early voting, a measure to designate over 400,000 Iowa voters as "inactive", and limits on the authority of county auditors to limit the number of polling locations in the face of a second wave of covid.

The Good News was: The House amended 2486 to undo most of the damage from Smith's amendment and it passed both houses! Public letter writing and phone calling campaigns like ours undoubtedly helped!

But the Bad News was that the Senate sneaked a few additional voter suppression measures (among many other partisan measures) into a budget bill (HF2643) after midnight on Saturday night and it passed both houses. One of the new measures makes it harder for county election officials to send out absentee ballots for even insignificant typos in the request form.


Both times, these amendment were tacked on to unrelated legislation very close to the end of the legislative session. Votes for these measures fell along strictly party lines and were rushed through the state legislature in party-line votes. If Smith and his colleagues have a case to make, they need to do it in the light of day. Voting is a cornerstone of our democracy and we cannot tolerate elected leaders gaming the system for political gain. The integrity of our election process should not be a left vs right issue.

What Can You Do?

It is not too late for Governor Kim Reynolds to use her power of line-item veto to remove the offending amendments. We're urging everyone to call or email her office!

  • To call, dial 515-281-5211 and press #8 to bypass the long message at the beginning.

  • To send her office a written message, click this link.

  • Tell her to "veto Division XXXI of HF2643 prohibiting county auditors from easily fixing missing information in absentee ballot request forms and adding new voter ID requirements to early voting"

  • Feel free to borrow from this sample letter:

Subject: RE: Division XXXI of HF2643

Dear Governor Reynolds,

I am writing to urge you to veto the voter suppression measures in Division XXXI of HF2643.

I urge you to
protect the powers of county auditors to send mail-in ballot applications using voter databases to fill in missing information from the request forms, and not to add party-line voter ID measures to the early voting process. I believe in the values of our democracy and in the people of Iowa, and I oppose efforts to make voting harder, especially in the middle of a pandemic.

Thank you,

<your name>


<phone number>

Other Steps You Can Take

  • Write an editorial in your local paper (lists of local papers can be found here and here). We need to make this visible.

  • Spread the word on Facebook and Twitter. Let's hold these legislators accountable!

Next Steps for HF Movement Iowa

We are not going to let the legislature off easy. The Humanity First Movement is planning future actions to hold Legislators accountable for their actions and to bring Voting and Election integrity to the forefront of the 2020 Iowa election. Stay tuned for future updates and, if you haven't done so, Get Connected!