Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz will appeal the decision handed down last month nullifying rules his office wrote regarding voter registration. The Republican, who has made voter fraud investigations and ballot security efforts the centerpiece of his term in office, on Thursday asked the Iowa Supreme Court to review and overturn the March 6 ruling which said he exceeded his authority regulate elections in the state. At issue in the case, American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa v. Schultz, was a rule issued by Schultz’s office to identify and remove ineligible voters from the state’s voter rolls. The rule outlined a process for identifying and removing non-citizens from Iowa’s voter registration list first by screening registered voters against state and national lists of non-citizens and then running suspected foreign nationals through a federal citizenship database. Voters identified as ineligible were then to be referred to their local county auditor, who would initiate a challenge to their registration.
The lawsuit, brought by the ACLU and the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa, argued that state law allows Schultz to cancel a voter’s registration only under limited circumstances that do not include questions of citizenship. Polk County Circuit Court Judge Scott D. Rosenberg agreed and invalidated the rule.
In announcing his appeal, Schultz countered that the rule was within his office’s authority and ensured voters’ rights were maintained while disqualifying non-citizens.