New policies draw record number of Iowans to register to vote


SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – If early signs are any indication, the 2020 election Iowa will be a record-breaker.

The state already has a record number of 2 million people registered to vote next year.

“People in Iowa do tend to take politics seriously. There was a big registration drive back in October and September,” said WITCC Government Relations Coordinator and former Iowa legislator, Steve Warnstadt.

Iowa is one of only seven states that offer online voter registration, same-day voter registration, early voting and no-fault absentee voting. But this year, election officials are taking steps to make the process even more inclusive. For the first time, allowing victims of domestic violence, assault or stalking to register while keeping their address confidential.

“It gives them assurance that they can be added to the process like everyone else and not face any physical risk because of that fundamental right to be able to vote,” Warnstadt said,

Another factor adding to this year’s impressive registration turn out – a new law is allowing 17-year-olds to register if they’ll be 18 by election day.

“There’s been significant outreach to high school students because of the change,” said Warnstadt.

Whiting Highschool Senior, Olivia Brown said, “I think it does make kids excited and encourages them to look forward to as opposed to something they have to do, it’s something they want to do.”

Of those registered, the largest increase is with independent voters, something young people may be contributing to.

“If the highschool age students, so 17-year-olds are registering there may be a larger percentage that are likely to be registering independent because they’re still figuring out the political process. and not wanting to commit to one party or another,” Warnstadt said.

But no matter the differences in things like age gender or party alliance, Iowan’s are gearing up for election day knowing every vote counts.

“We see how much our voices do matter and how important it is for us to vote for what we believe in,” said Brown.

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