The loud cry for voter identification and vote fraud investigation is fading to a whimper as Iowa’s top election official prepares to leave and those running to replace him downplay the politically charged issues. Matt Schultz, who recently was defeated in his bid for the Republican Party’s 3rd Congressional District nomination, was elected secretary of state in 2010 after a campaign largely focused on promoting voter ID and fighting what he argued was problematic voter fraud. Once in office, Schultz unsuccessfully lobbied lawmakers for a voter ID law, spent about $250,000 in a two-year investigation of election fraud and tried to pass a voter purge rule for those lacking citizenship proof, which led to a lawsuit.
He lost the court case — filed by civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa — when a judge ruled in March that Schultz didn’t have the authority to create a rule that would cancel a voter’s registration based on citizenship questions. He had tried to create a rule in 2012 that would remove voters from registration rolls if their citizenship couldn’t be confirmed by comparing state records with federal immigration records. Schultz has appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court. Schultz did not respond to a request for an interview.
Brad Anderson, the Democrat running for the office, has criticized Schultz and promised a different approach. “I would end immediately these wasteful, expensive criminal investigations that have yielded few if any results,” Anderson said. “What I believe we need to do is create a system that catches any election misconduct, whether intentional or not, before it happens.”
Full Article: Iowa secretary of state candidates play down voter ID.