January 2011

Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz visited in Davenport with Scott County Auditor Roxanna Moritz on January 20th.  They met for more than an hour and discussed several issues involved in elections.

Secretary Schultz said that he will strongly push for mandatory ID checks at the polling place.  His proposal would require precinct election workers to check every voter’s government issued ID, either an Iowa driver’s license, Iowa personal ID card or federal ID card, which has a picture and unexpired expiration date.  No one would be allowed to vote a regular ballot without presenting one of these forms of identification.  Voters who do not have an ID to present at the polling place would be allowed to vote a provisional ballot, but then such voters would need to present an ID to election officials before the canvass of votes (within a week or less depending on the type of election) in order for their provisional ballot to count.

The Iowa House of Representatives has a bill already voted out of committee on requiring voters to show an ID to vote.  HF 8 passed out of the House State Government Committee as amended on a party-line vote, 15-8.  This bill will require voters to show a photo ID in order to vote and also waives the fee of obtaining a certified copy of a birth certificate if the individual signs an affidavit indicating that the certificate will be used to acquire an Iowa non-operator’s identification card to be used for voting.  If a voter is not able to produce state-issued photo ID, they can vote a provisional ballot.  The bill is to be floor managed by Rep. Schulte.

The Auditor’s Office recently completed the annual valuation report and submitted it to the Iowa Department of Management.  This report shows the value of all real estate in the county, and is broken down into various categories such as residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial.  For Scott County as a whole, gross real estate values (before rollbacks) increased by 3.67% and taxable value (after rollbacks) increased by 2.0%. 

We also analyzed how Governor Branstad’s proposal for a commercial property tax rollback would affect the Scott County budget.  Without an increase in other revenue, the Governor’s proposal would result in a $5 million shortfall to the Scott County budget.