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Iowa Sen. Roby Smith has done it again. He and the Republican Party continue to utilize fear and misinformation to limit voter participation. They decry the horrible problem of voter fraud to enact laws that discourage voters, especially ones who may not vote for them.

First of all, voter fraud does happen but in minuscule numbers. In America, there have been 44 voter fraud convictions since 2000. This is out of 1 billion votes. The Heritage Foundation, a conservative organization, lists four cases in Iowa from 2016 to the present, two having to do with ineligible voting and two with duplicate voting.

The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette cites 23 cases in Iowa from 2012 to 2017. Hardly a raging concern.

So why the need for additional voter identification? Why limit voting sites and target our state universities? Why promote absentee ballot restraints? Why shorten the hours at the polls? Why does the GOP, on strict party lines, see the need to protect us from a virtual non-issue?

It is not to protect Iowans, but to protect their own self-interest. It is to limit participation and discourage those who may vote against them. When more people vote, they tend to lose. Low voter turnout is their friend.

Let Sen. Smith and the GOP know that we want to encourage Iowans to vote. Let them know we are not fearful of a handful of fraudulent votes but are more concerned that legitimate voters be allowed to vote.

Francine Hutton


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