Voter registration rules enacted by former Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz that critics said threatened to disenfranchise eligible voters will not take effect, after a long-running lawsuit was resolved on Friday. The Secretary of State’s Office — now held by Paul Pate — voluntarily dismissed an appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court that was initiated by Schultz last year following a loss at the district-court level. “This is an important victory for the protection of voters’ rights in Iowa,” American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa Legal Director Rita Bettis said in a statement. “It means that Iowans will not have to worry about the voter purges we’ve seen take effect in other states with a disastrous impact, especially for new U.S. citizens and Latinos.” By declining to continue the appeal, the state has effectively concluded the lawsuit and allowed the lower-court ruling to stand. That means the rules will never take effect.
In a statement, Pate said he voluntarily declined to continue the appeal after consulting with the Attorney General’s Office and will focus now on “building the most accurate voter registration list for Iowa.”
“I will use my authority to the fullest extent of state and federal law to ensure accurate voter lists,” Pate said. “There are other ways to accomplish the same goal without pursuing a course with significant legal hurdles.”
Full Article: Controversial Iowa voter rules will not take effect.