The ACLU of Iowa and League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) of Iowa have filed a request for an injunction to try and block Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz’s plan to purge non-residents from the voter rolls. ACLU executive director, Ben Stone, says Schultz created rules to purge the names without any public comment or input.
“The rules deal with granting the Secretary of State the authority to use unspecified and potentially inaccurate lists to purge eligible Iowa voters, especially Latino Iowans, who are eligible to vote,” according to Stone. “So that greatly concerns us. We think the process is flawed, but we also believe the substance of the rule is to be questioned as well.”
Stone says they have no problem if Schultz uses “accurate, updated, legitimate lists.” “That are specified under law, and that are created in a way that makes them accurate. Nobody wants people voting who are not eligible to vote. The problem is, having a list that is inaccurate, not up to date, or includes information that is wrong and then using that information to deny eligible Iowa voters the right to vote,” Stone says.
Stone says the request for the injunction also seeks to block a change that would allow people to anonymously report potential voter fraud.
“The Secretary of State has been very vocal about how fraud is this big problem, and he’s never been able to show that there’s any fraud,” Stone says. “And so what this rule does is it contravenes current Iowa law about how you make a complaint about voter fraud.”
Stone says the change would do away with accountability. “Current Iowa law says that you have to verify identity and you have to swear to the truth of what you are alleging. So if you basically accuse someone of voter fraud, you have to put your name on the line and you have to be willing to be accountable for the truth what you are saying,” Stone explains.
“And what the Secretary of State has done, he’s created a mechanism where anonymous tips, anonymous allegations, allegations of people who do not have to swear to what they are alleging.” Stone says they are concerned that these are “voter suppression” measures being used by Schultz right before the election in November.