Iowa Lets Voters (Even Libertarians) ID Their Party Affiliations


Thanks to a lawsuit by the ACLU of Iowa, Green and Libertarian voters in that state can now register as Greens and Libertarians. Before the lawsuit was settled this week, voters were limited to parties that had received at least 2 percent of the vote in the previous gubernatorial or presidential election. In other words, they could pick any party affiliation they wanted, as long as it was Democratic or Republican. State leaders of those parties say they are not worried about the new rules, which should make it easier for small parties to organize and raise money. The ACLU of Iowa's Randall Wilson seems to blame "bureaucratic resistance" more than a conspiracy to maintain the two-party duopoly: "I think to a certain extent, it was just bureaucratic resistance years ago to the problem of implementing this and wondering where do you stop and how much work is it going to be to keep track of these parties when they're unlikely to win any major victories soon." The ACLU lawsuit, which noted that Iowa and Kansas were the only states that refused to allow minor-party registrations, suggested that those newfangled electric thinking machines would make it easier to keep all the political flavors straight.

[Thanks to Mark Lambert for the tip.]