Pat Grassley Doesn’t Believe Voting is a ‘Principle of American Citizenship’

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Grassley’s proposal would require teaching “American citizenship” but remove requirement teaching students how to vote

DES MOINES, IOWA — Yesterday State Representative Pat Grassley, grandson of Senator Chuck Grassley, introduced House File 423, which would eliminate the high school social studies requirement to teach voting procedures, and instead require teaching “the principles of American citizenship.”

HF423 would specifically remove the requirement to teach “voting statutes and procedures, voter registration requirements, the use of paper ballots and voting systems in the election process, and the method of acquiring and casting an absentee ballot.” In addition, Grassley’s proposal would require high school students to learn the “tenets of American citizenship” and “the principles of American citizenship.”

“Grassley’s proposal flies directly in the face of Iowa’s proud tradition of voter participation,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “If he doesn’t think voting is a principle of American citizenship, then what is? Nothing is more fundamental to being American or Iowan than exercising our right to vote.”

Iowans turned out in record numbers in 2012, with more than 1.5 million reaching the polls. The percentage of registered voter turnout (72%) was the highest in 20 years. Turnout was 71% in 2004 and 2008. In addition, a record high 584,000 Iowans participated in early voting. That number bested the 2008 record of 545,000 early voters.

In response to Grassley’s proposed legislation, Progress Iowa launched a grassroots petition, asking Iowans to tell Rep. Grassley that voting is an American and Iowan principle. The petition can be found online here:



House File 423

Iowa sets record for voter turnout

Iowa voters turn out early in record numbers