A Democrat state senator from Emmetsburg, said Tuesday he is disappointed that Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz adopted rules to purge non-citizens from the voter rolls without consulting the legislature. Jack Kibbie is a member of the Administrative Rules Review Committee, and said his first concern is that the rules were implemented on an emergency basis.
“The rules committee has questioned emergency filings forever. Why didn’t he come to the legislative branch when they were in session. The State Government Committee deals with election laws and that was the time to get the law changed if it needed to be changed, and have a public hearing,” Kibbie explained.
Kibbie said neither Schultz, a Republican, or his staff, were able to attend his committee meeting Tuesday to explain their action. Kibbie said Schultz’s attempt to pass a law to require a picture I-D for Iowa voters failed in the last session, and this move makes it look like Schultz is trying to get around the legislature.
“If there’s evidence out there that we’ve got fraudulent activities going on in our elections and people are voting who are not eligible, they need to bring that to the surface,” Kibbie said. “They need to go to the county attorney, or he in his case, he needs to get the Attorney General involved.”
Kibbie said pushing the rules through in an emergency process raises questions about the intent. “There’s actions going on in every state in some way or another to disenfranchise voters. In my opinion, this is another attempt here in Iowa. We’ve had a reputation nationally of really having good election laws, and people not using any fraudulent methods to vote,” according to Kibbie.
Kibbie said his committee couldn’t do anything about the rules anyway now as they are in place for 180 days under the emergency process. But he wants an explanation from Schultz on why he implemented the rules. “Well we ought to have some proof that it’s happening fast. You know if he’d come to the legislature, or come with a rule and point out some of these issues that we’ve got with election law, there’s nobody wanting people to disobey the law when it comes to elections,” Kibbie said.
The Iowa A.C.L.U. has sued Schultz to try and block the voter purge and the Democrat Attorney General is defending Schultz against the lawsuit. Kibbie said it is proper for the Attorney General to defend Schultz as that’s his job regardless of the issue. Kibbie said he expects Schultz to talk to his committee at their meeting next month.