Iowa Secretary of State Michael Mauro says he’ll ask the legislature to change in Iowa’s redistricting law in the wake of some controversy in Linn County. Linn County recently went to five county supervisors and created new districts for each supervisor. Some county residents were not happy with the plan and complained to Mauro’s office.
Mauro says the Iowa code requires the Secretary of State to approve the plans, but Mauro says the law does not give the office any authority to investigate complaints. Mauro says he referred the issue to the Attorney General’s office, which issued an opinion that the Secretary of State does not have authority to investigate. Mauro wants to see the law changed.
Mauro says he wants to see the law changed to have some teeth, and says the Iowa Campaign and Ethics Disclosure Board be the body that can investigate any complaints about re-districting. Mauro had to approve the Linn County plan, but says without the ability to look into complaints, he’s not sure if those complaints were legitimate.
Mauro says there were some concerns presented that could raise some eyebrows, but Mauro says you can’t just reject a plan based on complaints, as he says both sides must be able to state their case. He says the law doesn’t allow either side to present their case. Mauro says the same type of thing happened back in 2000 in Polk County.
Mauro says Polk County was redistricting for its supervisors after the census, and there were complaints, but those complaints also never got properly addressed because of the law. Mauro says he’ll ask lawmakers to change the law in the January session.