Republicans participating the the Iowa caucuses will be able to cast a ballot for the presidential candidate of their choice without presenting a photo ID, according to voting watchdog Brad Friedman.
Republicans have pushed for stricter voting regulations, such as voter ID laws, to protect against alleged voter fraud. More than 30 states have changed voter laws since 2008, including requiring voter identification cards, eliminating same-day registration on voting day, prohibiting ex-felons from ballot access, restricting early voting and requiring proof of citizenship.
According to a report by the Brennan Center for Justice, changes to voting laws could suppress up to five million votes during the 2012 elections, particularly among young, minority and low-income voters, as well as those with disabilities — all of whom tend to vote for Democrats.
Republican lawmakers in Iowa this year pushed for a voter ID law, which was sponsored by Republican Secretary of State Matt Schultz. The bill passed the Iowa House along partisan lines, but later died in the Senate State Government Committee.
Those hoping to vote in the caucuses have to be a registered Republican in the state of Iowa, and same-day registration is allowed.
But despite being able to set all of the rules for the caucus, Iowa Republicans only request voters present a photo ID during registration. If a photo ID is not available, a registrant may sign an oath, along with one attester, to prove their identity.
Those who are already registered Republicans do not need to present a photo ID before casting a ballot.
“You’d think that when Republicans have a chance to run their own elections, they’d be sure to want it to be as ‘fraud’-free as possible,” Friedman quipped.