Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Monday signed a bill to limit absentee voting, shorten early voting, and close the polls earlier on Election Day.
County auditors or other election officials are banned from sending out unsolicited absentee ballot request forms under the new law. They would also face penalties of up to $10,000 if they do not enforce state election laws or disobey the guidelines from the secretary of state.
Under the law, county auditors are not permitted to set up satellite voting sites unless enough residents petition for one. Voters will be removed from active voting lists if they miss an election and don't report a change in address or register as a voter again.
The new law in Iowa also limits who can return a voter's absentee ballot. Previously, anyone could do so on the voter's behalf if they were asked to do so by the voter. Now, only the voter, their immediate family or household member, or caregiver, are permitted to return the ballot, whether in person or by mail.
She added, "All of these additional steps promote more transparency and accountability, giving Iowans even greater confidence to cast their ballot."
The law passed both chambers of the state's legislature in February on party lines with all Republicans in favor and all Democrats against.
Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Ross Wilburn in a statement said: “We don’t have to wait to get people registered to vote. We don’t have to wait to have Democrats talking with their neighbors in rural and metropolitan areas in the state about how these harmful pieces of legislation are being forced through.”
Heritage Action for America, a policy advocacy group, praised the passing of the new Iowa law.
"By enacting this critical election integrity bill, Gov. Reynolds and the Iowa legislature have made Iowa one of the states leading the charge to secure our nation’s election," Executive Director Jessica Anderson said in a statement. "After a year of unprecedented challenges to the integrity of our states’ electoral systems, elected officials in Iowa, Florida, Georgia, and other states are taking urgent and necessary steps to restore confidence in elections and secure the voting process."
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in February proposed a bill to enact a number of restrictions on mail-in voting, including banning unsolicited mail-in ballots, and requiring that mail-in ballot requests must be made each election year.