TAMA, Iowa -- Tribal ID cards will be accepted as valid forms of voter identification in Iowa, Secretary of State Paul Pate said Tuesday.
An amendment to a bill passed by the Iowa Legislature in May added tribal IDs to the list of accepted forms of identification. Pate, whose office assisted in crafting the amendment, made the announcement during a Voter Ready roundtable discussion in Tama County on Tuesday.
“After meeting with a representative of the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa and learning more about the tribal enrollment process and tribal identification documents, I felt confident recommending to the Legislature that tribal identification cards be considered proof of identity at the polls on Election Day,” Pate said in a statement.
The Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, headquartered in Tama, and the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska are the two Native American tribes with the largest number of members living in Iowa, Pate said.
In addition to the Winnebago, three other northeast Nebraska tribes -- the Omaha, the Ponca and the Santee Sioux -- have members in Sioux City and other Iowa cities.
Iowa lawmakers passed a voter-ID law in 2017. For this year's elections, voters will be asked to voluntarily show an approved photo ID. Those without identification may sign an oath verifying their identity to cast a regular ballot.
Beginning in 2019, voters who don't have proper identification will have to vote by provisional ballot and return later with ID for ballots to count.
In addition to tribal IDs, acceptable forms of identification to register to vote and cast ballots in Iowa include a state driver’s license or non-operator’s ID, a military ID, veterans ID, U.S. passport and and a voter ID PIN card.
Pate said he also is partnering with colleges and universities across the state to develop student ID cards that could be used for voter identification in time for the 2020 elections.
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