Controversial rules governing voter fraud investigations will remain suspended until the conclusion of a lawsuit challenging their legality. A Polk County judge on Wednesday issued a temporary injunction against implementation of the rules. The move is a positive development for the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa and the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa, which brought the suit against Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz. At issue are rules written by Schultz’s office guiding the process by which the state may verify a voter’s eligibility and strip the voting rights of those found to be ineligible. The ACLU and LULAC argue Schultz exceeded his authority in issuing the rules, and say the rules themselves could violate eligible voters’ right to vote. They’re asking that the rules be struck down entirely. Schultz’s office, by contrast, argues the rules are appropriate and has asked the court to dismiss the case.
In his ruling on Wednesday, District Court Judge Scott Rosenberg denied the ACLU request to strike the rules immediately, but agreed they should be suspended until the case is resolved.
“Iowa voters should take heart, because the court order today will prevent the Secretary of State from using a flawed and unreliable system to purge voters or otherwise intimidate them while the case moves forward,” ACLU of Iowa Executive Director Ben Stone said.
In a statement, Schultz said his office was “disappointed” by the order, but would abide by it.