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Iowa Capitol Digest for Wednesday, Sept. 22

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A roundup of legislative and Capitol news items of interest from Tuesday:

PATE SENDING POSTCARDS: The Iowa Secretary of State’s Office is sending postcards to about 50,000 Iowans who are eligible to vote that includes instructions on how to register and a QR code that recipients can use to register to vote online.

The postcards should arrive in mailboxes by next Tuesday, which is recognized as National Voter Registration Day.

The mailing to eligible but unregistered Iowans is conducted annually by the office.

Iowa is one of 31 states enrolled in the Electronic Registration Information Center, a system designed to improve the accuracy of the voter rolls, register more eligible citizens, reduce costs, and improve efficiencies in the voting process.

“Around 90% of Iowans are registered to vote. I want to hit 100% and this mailing will help us get there,” Secretary of State Paul Pate said. “Voting is a civic duty and the best way to make your voice heard.”

CLAY NAMED DISTRICT JUDGE: Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Wednesday she has appointed Valerie Clay of Marion to serve as a district court judge in Judicial District 6, which includes Benton, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Linn, and Tama counties.

Clay is an assistant county attorney in the Juvenile Division of the Linn County Attorney’s Office.

She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa and her law degree from the University of Maryland’s School of Law. Clay fills the vacancy created by the upcoming retirement of Judge Mitchell Turner.

TECHNOLOGY UPGRADE: The Iowa Department of Revenue and other state agencies announced Monday they are modernizing technology and processes to better serve Iowa taxpayers.

According to state officials, the end result of the four-year effort will provide taxpayers, businesses and tax professionals with a new and secure portal, GovConnectIowa, that will be live later this year.

In the initial rollout, the revenue agency, the Iowa Lottery, Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, and the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division partnered to create GovConnectIowa — a shared online portal designed to streamline business registration by providing applications or licensing for each of these agencies in one location.

Later rollouts in the multiyear project will simplify processes for corporate income taxpayers, individual income taxpayers, local government oversight and distributions, and more, officials said.

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