For the first time in living memory, Iowans will not have the option of filling in one oval to vote a straight ticket for a political party in this year’s general election. Republicans eliminated straight-ticket voting here in 2017, as GOP legislators have done in several other states in recent years. The more publicized provisions of Iowa’s new law, on voter ID and signature verification, will benefit Republicans by creating obstacles for eligible voters in groups that tend to favor Democrats (people with lower incomes, college students, racial minorities, and senior citizens).
By contrast, the impact of eliminating straight-ticket voting is less clear. More Iowans filled in the Republican oval than the Democratic one in the 2014 election, the only midterm for which such statistics are available.
One thing is for sure: