# Rural



Iowa media help Hinson, Miller-Meeks hide the ball on birth control access

All three U.S. House Republicans from Iowa voted this week against a bill that would provide a federal guarantee of access to contraception.

But if Iowans encounter any mainstream news coverage of the issue, they may come away with the mistaken impression that GOP Representatives Ashley Hinson and Mariannette Miller-Meeks took a stand for contraception access.

The episode illustrates an ongoing problem in the Iowa media landscape: members of Congress have great influence over how their work is covered.

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Exclusive: New Iowa absentee rules disenfranchised hundreds in 2022 primary

New restrictions on absentee voting prevented hundreds of Iowans from having their ballots counted in the June 7 primary election, Bleeding Heartland’s review of data from county auditors shows.

About 150 ballots that would have been valid under previous Iowa law were not counted due to a bill Republican legislators and Governor Kim Reynolds enacted in 2021, which required all absentee ballots to arrive at county auditors’ offices by 8:00 pm on election day. The majority of Iowans whose ballots arrived too late (despite being mailed before the election) were trying to vote in the Republican primary.

Hundreds more Iowans would have been able to vote by mail prior to the 2021 changes, but missed the new deadline for submitting an absentee ballot request form. More than half of them did not manage to cast a ballot another way in the June 7 election.

The new deadlines will trip up many more Iowans for the November election, when turnout will likely be about three times the level seen in this year’s primary, and more “snowbirds” attempt to vote by mail in Iowa from other states.

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Glenn Hurst is the change we need

Susie Petra is a retired educator and longtime state and community activist.

With the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate coming up on June 7, I’ve asked myself, “Which candidate has shown a commitment to Iowa and its people? Has marched with us, has worked within the their community to better the living conditions, has worked within the party to get others elected, who has chaired organizations giving voice to our concerns?”

Only one person: Dr. Glenn Hurst. He is the candidate who has put in the years and time, speaking and listening to Iowans. He knows what issues affect us here and across the country, and will boldly and skillfully fight for them.

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Vote early in Iowa—but not by mail, if possible

Early voting for Iowa’s June 7 primary began on May 18. Voting before election day has many advantages. You don’t have to worry about illness, work obligations, or a family emergency keeping you from casting a ballot. Once officials have recorded that you voted, you should stop receiving unsolicited phone calls and knocks at the door.

However, I now discourage Iowans from voting by mail unless there is no alternative. Recent changes to state law have greatly increased the risk of a mailed ballot never being counted.

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Iowa CCI Action endorses Glenn Hurst for U.S. Senate

The Hurst for Iowa campaign just received an overwhelming endorsement from Iowa’s leading progressive organization, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund. In the announcement, they stated, “We’re endorsing Glenn because he’s with us on the issues and on challenging business-as-usual politics and the status quo. He shares our belief that real change comes from the ground up, and he has a plan to win and can excite a grassroots base to turn out to the polls on June 7.”

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A contract with public schools

Bruce Lear: Iowa Democratic candidates at all levels need to put public schools at the center of their campaigns.

Whenever my dad saw someone doing things the hard way, he’d say, “That guy’s working with a short-handled shovel.” I know I did my share of short-handled shovel work.

My dad wasn’t being mean. He was just observing there was a better way to do the work. His long-ago quip now applies to Democrats as they try to win over voters for the midterm elections.

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