Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed legislation on Monday that shortens the state’s early voting period and closes the polls earlier on Election Day.
Under the law, Iowa’s early voting period is reduced from 29 days to 20 days, and polls are scheduled to close at 8 p.m. for state and federal elections rather than 9 p.m.
While there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Iowa or nationally, Republicans have described the state’s legislation as an election integrity measure.
The Iowa Legislature approved the measure last month with every Republican voting for the bill and every Democrat voting against it.
“It’s our duty and responsibility to protect the integrity of every election,” Reynolds said in a statement. “This legislation strengthens uniformity by providing Iowa’s election officials with consistent parameters for Election Day, absentee voting, database maintenance, as well as a clear appeals process for local county auditors. All of these additional steps promote more transparency and accountability, giving Iowans even greater confidence to cast their ballot.”
Democrats say the law will suppress votes and does nothing to improve election security.
“Iowans have always had a proud tradition of participating in the democratic process with accessible and secure elections,” Iowa Democratic Party Chair Ross Wilburn said in the statement. “Today, Kim Reynolds and Iowa Republicans have made it more difficult for Iowans, especially seniors and those with disabilities, to be part of this process and have their voices heard.”
“This isn’t about improving our election process, it’s about continuing the Republican Party’s outrageous lies and attacks on the democratic process across the country,” he added.