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Iowa Supreme Court hears arguments in voter ID law appeal

The Iowa Supreme Court has heard arguments about a legal challenge to a new state voter identification law and a judge's ruling that puts several aspects of absentee voting in the law on hold. (file)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The Iowa Supreme Court has heard arguments about a legal challenge to a new state voter identification law and a judge's ruling that puts several aspects of absentee voting in the law on hold.

Under an injunction issued in July by a judge the state is prohibited from shortening the time to cast absentee ballots from 40 days to 29 days. It is also be barred from requiring that absentee ballots include a voter verification number and from allowing ballots to be thrown out when a local election official determines the voter's signature doesn't match one on file.

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate's appeal asks the court to overturn the injunction.

Arguments Thursday focused on whether the law causes harm by disenfranchising voters, especially Latinos who vote absentee in large numbers.

A lawyer for the state says there was no indication in the June primary that voters couldn't handle the new restrictions.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady said at the end of arguments that "it's an important question that needs a quick answer."

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