Iowa Court Strikes Down Rule Aimed at Non-Citizen Voters

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The drama continues in Iowa, where Secretary of State (and now Congressional candidate) Matt Schultz is facing another setback in his efforts to combat voter fraud. The Des Moines Register has more:

A Polk County court has struck down a controversial rule issued by Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz meant to identify and remove ineligible voters from the state’s voter rolls.

Judge Scott D. Rosenberg found that Schultz, a Republican who has built his reputation and focused his office on ballot security issues, exceeded his authority in adopting the rule. The order invalidates the rule and assesses costs associated with the case to Schultz’s office.

At issue was a plan to use a federal citizenship database to identify non-citizens, who would then be targeted for removal from the rolls:

The rule at issue set out a process for identifying and removing non-citizens from Iowa’s voter registration list first by screening registered voters against state and national lists of noncitizens and then running suspected foreign nationals through the federal Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements database.

Voters identified as ineligible would then be referred to their local county auditor, who would initiate a challenge to their registration.

The rule was challenged as exceeding the authority of the Secretary of State’s office to remove voters from the rolls, and the court agreed. Indeed,the rule never actually took effect, as courts kept blocking parts of the plan and the state had difficulty until recently obtaining access to the federal SAVE database.

Schultz’s office has said it will appeal the ruling.

I am looking forward to seeing how this entire saga affects the campaign to replace Schultz; the differences of opinion in Iowa are stark on the issue of voter fraud and I imagine this case will do nothing to bridge the gap.

Stay tuned.

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