Just before Secretary of State Matt Schultz is expected to announce whether he’s running for congress or for reelection, a member of the Iowa Senate is again raising the issue of Schultz’s voter registration crack-down.
Schultz, who is a Republican, has directed almost $300,000 in federal “Help America Vote Act” funds to pay a state D-C-I agent to investigate cases of alleged voter fraud. State Senator Tom Courtney, a Democrat from Burlington, has sent a letter to key United States senators. He’s asking them to quickly confirm new Commissioners to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. That’s the federal board that will decide whether Schultz is properly using the federal money, but all four commission slots are currently vacant.
Courtney argues Schultz should use the money for new voting machines and voter education initiatives, to help Iowans vote. Schultz says he’s ensuring the integrity of the voting process by ferreting out fraud.
Schultz has scheduled a news conference on Thursday to announce what office he will seek in 2014. He was elected Iowa secretary of state in 2010, but with Congressman Tom Latham’s recent retirement announcement, Schultz has said he’s considering running for Iowa’s third district congressional seat.
The state auditor — who used to work in Schultz’s office — recently said Schultz should rearrange the budget in his office so he can be prepared to repay the federal money he’s used on his voter fraud investigations, but Schultz has made no plans to do so.