Iowans Claim They Were Not Allowed To Register As Libertarians

For Immediate Release
Monday, September 23, 2013

Council Bluffs, Iowa – Recently, Jake Porter, Libertarian candidate for Secretary of State, learned that he was registered as No Party despite having registered as a Libertarian when he renewed his driver’s license.

Libertarian Party of Iowa Chair Keith Laube tells a similar story, “A few years ago, I returned to my home state of Iowa. I obtained an Iowa driver’s license and was similarly unable to register as a Libertarian, which I thought was odd. I later spoke with other Iowa Libertarians who told me that I should be able to register as Libertarian. I made another trip to the County Courthouse to visit my County Auditor, who corrected my voter registration.”

Porter had heard reports of other Libertarian voters having problems with their registrations for several years, so his campaign decided to investigate. What they found surprised them.

“We surveyed the Libertarian Party Executive Committee, all of whom had registered as Libertarians, and we discovered that five of ten members’ registrations — fully half — did not show the correct party affiliation when they registered while renewing their drivers licenses. Many other Libertarians have contacted my campaign to report the same problem, so this is not just a few errors randomly happening. Clearly, the state of Iowa needs to correct this problem. Voters should be able to choose a party affiliation with confidence and know that their choices will be respected by the state.”

“Additionally, the Libertarian Party of Iowa is asking for an apology. Furthermore, we request that the state contact any voter who may have not been allowed to register with the party of their choice.” Porter said.

In 2005, the Iowa ACLU filed a lawsuit, which was settled in 2007, against the Secretary of State’s office that allowed Iowans to register as Libertarians. The Porter campaign is concerned that, unless the State corrects this problem and contacts the voters whose affiliations were read incorrectly, many voters will not notice that their party affiliation is incorrect or realize the importance of being registered correctly for the sake of the party and its ability to organize. Relying on the voters to correct the issue themselves puts an undue burden both on them and on the county auditors who should not have to correct a state problem.

The campaign’s investigation showed that the issue likely involves how the state’s computers at the Department of Motor Vehicles reads the registration forms. The issue is being described by the Porter campaign as a data entry issue and the campaign has contacted the Iowa Secretary of State’s office regarding the irregularities. The Secretary of State’s office responded with a promise to “reach out” to the Department of Transportation regarding the irregularities. Porter’s campaign will continue to follow up on this investigation on behalf of all Iowans.

For more information about Jake Porter please visit:
www.jakeporter.org

For more information about the Libertarian Party of Iowa please visit
www.lpia.org

–30–
about 520 words.

Contact Information:
Tim Tinkle, Chief of Staff
media@jakeporter.org
515-783-0729

Jake Porter, Candidate
jake@jakeporter.org
402-206-8046