Iowa legislators worked over Secretary of State Matt Schultz pretty well at a Monday hearing on Schultz’s personal push to clean up voting rolls. Schultz staked his political career on his high-profile effort to curb voter fraud. Almost immediately after being elected in 2010, he alerted county election officials he was targeting immigrants he believed were voting improperly. County auditors waited and waited for Schultz to follow through. It took more than a year for him to acquire a federal citizenship database to check the legality of perhaps 1,000 Iowa voters Schultz suspected of voting illegally. The $240,000 probe led to 26 arrests of folks who mostly seemed confused, not conspirators.
At the same time, Schultz’s crackdown led to improper challenges of three Iowa voters whose names were incorrectly on a list of ineligible felons. Turns out, all had their voting rights restored years ago. Schultz’s round-up has nine former Iowa felons facing new felony charges for voting in recent elections.
We were early and ardent supporters of Gov. Tom Vilsack’s initiative to more easily restore felons’ voting rights. Voting is not a reward bestowed for good behavior. We regard voting as an important way to engage all Iowans, including ex-felons, in civic leadership. Gov. Terry Branstad believed otherwise. He rescinded Vilsack’s order and reinstated the cumbersome process that pretty much eliminates any voting by ex-felons. And Schultz eagerly added ex-felons to his voting purge.
Full Article: Iowa vote fraud probe fizzles.