LULAC Files Lawsuit In Iowa Against Massive Attack On Latino Voting Rights
Nation’s Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Says Draconian and Discriminatory Measures Come from Dark Days of the Past
Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) today issued the following statement after a lawsuit was filed on its behalf against Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.
The legal action is being taken in the wake of a new law in Iowa which shortens voting, both by early ballots and on Election Day itself. Under the new provision, the early voting period is reduced from 29 days to 20. Also, it stipulates that polls will close at 8 p.m. for state and federal elections instead of 9 p.m.
Another major change is that early ballots can only be accepted if brought in by the voter, an immediate family member, household member or caregiver. Anyone else, even if designated by the voter, will be breaking the law for delivering their ballot. Each county will have only one box where early ballots can be delivered and done so, under video surveillance.
Elections officials and voting auditors are also named in the new law. They will be subject to a felony if they fail to carry out state election laws or deviate from what they are ordered to do by the Iowa secretary of state. So-called “technical infractions” could result in fines of up to $10,000.
Nick Salazar, LULAC Iowa State Director
"This new law creates an undue burden to the constitutional right to vote for all Iowans. After a historic Iowa voter turnout in 2020 and no proof of voter fraud or irregularities, we should be building on those successes, not restricting access to the voting booth. We are fighting for all Iowans with this lawsuit.”
Sindy Benavides - LULAC National Chief Executive Officer
“These changes in Iowa are very concerning because, if not reversed, the new law creates a dangerous precedent that restricts Latino voters and voters of color from accessing the voting booth and early voting. Clearly, this is a planned strategy to ensure rising voters are met with obstacles and not allowed to participate in our democracy. We trust that our arguments will prevail in court so that the right of every eligible voter is protected.”
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/