A judge’s ruling will temporarily prevent Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz from using a federal database to check the citizenship status of names listed on Iowa voter registration rolls.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa and the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa filed a lawsuit. They say the process Republican Secretary of State Matt Schultz proposes intimidates legal immigrants, especially those who are new U.S. citizens, and may discourage minorities from voting. A district court judge today put Schultz’s plan on hold until the lawsuit is resolved.
Ben Stone, the ACLU’s state director, says “Iowa voters should take heart,” because the “flawed and unreliable system” has at least been put on hold. Schultz says he’s disappointed by the judge’s temporary order, but will continue to fight for common sense ways to preserve the integrity of Iowa’s voting system — including his proposed checks of the citizenship status of some voters.
Schultz has been given permission to use the federal database to check for non-citizen voters, but he is waiting ’til the court case is resolved to use it. Democrat Tom Miller, the state’s attorney general, is defending the Republican Secretary of State in this case.
In a separate move, Schultz is using federal “Help America Vote Act” grant money to pay an investigator who is conducting his own investigation into alleged cases of illegal voting in Iowa by non-citizens or felons.