Small Change in Voting Laws Could Cost Big Money for Scott Count - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

Small Change in Voting Laws Could Cost Big Money for Scott County Tax Payers

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A proposed change to voting laws in Iowa could leave taxpayers footing bigger bills.

The Iowa House is currently debating a law that would require county workers to go to assisted living facilities to collect residents' votes for every election.

Right now, that law only applies to residents of nursing homes.

This change could end up costing Iowa counties thousand of dollars more.

Currently, Scott County spends around $4,000 for every major election, training and sending vote collectors to nursing homes. If the new measure passes, and it had to send them to assisted living facilities as well, Scott County's expenses would double.

The proposed change is part of a bigger bill, going through the Iowa Legislature now, that would require an ID for all Iowans heading to the polls.

But, according to Roxanna Moritz, the Scott County Auditor, that part of the law wouldn't be fair.

It would mean those people in assisted living facilities would have to cast their votes by absentee ballot or not at all. They would not be allowed to go to the polls to vote as they do now.

"They won't just be able to show up at the polls and I know a lot of older people who really enjoy on election day - going to the polls and casting their vote," Moritz said.

"If one person requests an absentee ballot, then we have to send a team to a nursing care facility- we have to send a team out and they have to vote that day, ten days prior to the election. They don't have to the option to go to the polls," Moritz explained.

According to Moritz, lawmakers tried to pass the legislation through the Iowa Senate last year without success.

If this law was on the books for the 2012 election, Scott County would have had to cater to 316 more people in assisted living communities - costing around $3,000.

There are currently 13 assisted living facilities in Scott County.

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