POLITICS
01/04/2017 12:12 pm ET

This Governor Thinks It 'Makes Sense' To Consider A Voter ID Law. It Doesn't.

There was almost no voter fraud in the 2016 election.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) said it "makes sense" for his state to consider voter ID legislation.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) said it "makes sense" for his state to consider voter ID legislation.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) said Tuesday that it “makes sense” for his state to consider legislation requiring voters to show ID ― even though voter fraud is exceedingly rare and there was almost none during the 2016 presidential election.

Branstad, whom President-elect Donald Trump has nominated as the United States’ next ambassador to China, voiced support for voter ID as a way to make sure Iowa voters aren’t voting in more than one state, according to The Associated Press. He also said the Iowa secretary of state’s office was with the legislature to introduce changes to Iowa’s voting system. It’s not clear whether voter ID is being considered as part of those changes.

Branstad’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Allegations of voter fraud in Iowa are handled at the county level, though Kevin Hall, a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office, said the office had heard of “isolated incidents of apparent voter fraud” during the 2016 election. Hall said that his office did not have hard data on voter fraud in previous elections.

Across the country, voter fraud is extremely rare and the 2016 election was no exception. A New York Times survey found that officials in 26 states and the District of Columbia saw no instances of voter fraud. Eight other states reported one allegation each.

Despite a lack of evidence, though, Trump has made wild claims about voter fraud, saying millions of people voted illegally in the election. Republicans across the country have pushed restrictive voter ID laws, which disproportionately make it more difficult for people of color and low-income Americans to vote.

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