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For First Time Ever, Iowans Can Register Day Of Election

This story was written by Heidi Ebert, Iowa State Daily

With so many political headlines in the news, this years presidential election seems to be an election of firsts.

This year, for the state of Iowa, there is another first. 2008 marks the first time Iowa residents will be able to register to vote on a presidential election day.

According to the State of Iowa House Journal, the new registration law allows a voter to register to vote and to vote after regular registration and prior to voting in an election.

The law went in to effect August 1, 2007.

Among those who sponsored the bill was state Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell.

I believe it is my obligation to work to improve access for individuals to vote, she said. All Iowans will benefit from having a more participatory electorate.

Lucy Martin, deputy auditor of Story County, said a photo ID as well as proof of residence is required for election day registration.

If you do not have proof of residence and identity, a registered voter in the precinct may attest to the fact that you are who you say you are and that you live in the precinct you say you live in, according to a brochure organized by the Iowa Secretary of State Michael Mauro.

There are some concerns about voter fraud, however, Martin said every person registering on election day has to sign an oath in order to vote. She said there are strict repercussions for a violation.

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