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Reynolds signs bills limiting voting, 'divisive' teaching

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday signed into law a change to state election regulations that sets strict limits on who can assist voters in delivering ballots.

Republican legislators approved the restrictions in a party-line vote last month, just weeks after Iowa became one of the first GOP-run states to extensively rewrite election rules to tighten other aspects of voting, including when ballots can be turned in and how voter rolls are maintained.

The measure Reynolds signed without comment Tuesday bans someone from delivering a ballot for another voter unless they live in the same home or are immediate family. It also sets new limits on who can help deliver a ballot for a blind or disabled voter.

Republicans said the changes would enhance voting security, though they have acknowledged voting fraud is rare in Iowa and the last election had almost no problems. Democrats said the measure perpetuates lies from President Donald Trump that the 2020 general election was fraudulent.

Reynolds also signed into law a Republican-backed bill that bans teaching “divisive concepts” in K-12 public schools and in public colleges and universities. It targets education about white privilege and racial equity. The American Civil Liberties Union has said such bills “rob young people of an inclusive education and blatantly suppress speech about race.”

In a statement, Reynolds argued that teaching Critical Race Theory “is about labels and stereotypes and promotes discriminatory indoctrination.”