The legislation, which passed both Republican-controlled chambers of the state legislature last month, will reduce the number of early voting days from 29 days to 20 days. It will also close polling places an hour earlier on Election Day (at 8 p.m. instead of 9 p.m.).
The bill additionally places new restrictions on absentee voting including banning officials from sending applications without a voter first requesting one and requiring ballots be received by the county before polls close on Election Day.
“It’s our duty and responsibility to protect the integrity of every election. 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,” Reynolds said in a statement Monday.
“All of these additional steps promote more transparency and accountability, giving Iowans even greater confidence to cast their ballot.”
The new law drew immediate backlash from Democrats in the state, including a tweet from the Iowa Democratic party stating, “We deserve better.”
The law is part of a larger effort by GOP legislators across the country — including the battleground states of Georgia and Arizona — to roll back voting access in the wake of the 2020 election. The November election saw record numbers of early and mail-in voters, triggering baseless claims of voter fraud from then-President Donald Trump and some of his fellow Republicans and eventually leading to the deadly insurrection on January 6.