The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa has asked a Polk County judge to permanently block a state rule guiding the removal of ineligible voters from the rolls. The request for summary judgment in the lawsuit against Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schulz is the latest turn in a case that has gone on for nearly a year. If granted, the rule that Schultz’s office enacted earlier this year outlining a process for identifying and removing noncitizens from the state voter rolls would be invalidated. The ACLU argues Schultz does not have the power as secretary of state to write rules on such voting matters.
The ACLU and the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa filed the suit last year after raising concerns that the rules could disenfranchise and intimidate eligible voters while screening out a vanishingly small number of ineligible ones.
ACLU lawyers argued in the Aug. 26 brief to the court that the facts of the case are no longer in doubt – entitling them to a final ruling by the judge. Resolving the case took on more urgency last month when the secretary’s office announced it had secured access to a federal database it intends to use to screen voters suspected to be ineligible.