Iowa Democrats owe a debt of gratitude to the Asian and Latino Coalition, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) of Iowa, and Iowa State University student Taylor Blair for continuing their fight to overturn the Republicans’ 2017 voter suppression ID law. In May of 2018, LULAC and Blair, assisted by Priorities USA, successfully sued Iowa’s Secretary of State Paul Pate, preventing Pate from fully implementing the ID law. The Asian and Latino Coalition helped initiate the process, and got LULAC involved to lead it forward.
The LULAC/Blair suit significantly aided Democrats in 2018 elections by maintaining important absentee ballot measures. Early voting by absentee ballots was an essential tool Democrats utilized in electing Congresswomen Axne and Finkenauer and flipping several Iowa House seats.
LULAC and Blair, the president of ISU College Democrats, joined forces to challenge the voter ID law because the law seriously jeopardized the voting rights of the Latino community and students’ access to voting.
“We clearly see it as an attack on the Latino community, placing so many different restrictions on the right to vote,” said Joe Enriquez Henry, LULAC’s national vice president for the Midwest region. “We see this stuff already playing out. It is reducing the number of voters we see within the Latino community who want to vote that are having to face these restrictions, and it’s just wrong.”