References to “being in the hot seat” and “crossing swords” with legislators popped up during Republican Secretary of State Matt Schultz’s appearance before a senate committee this afternoon. Democrats who’ve criticized Schultz for investigating voter fraud focused on the plight of three eligible voters who had their 2012 ballots tossed out because they were mistakenly on a list of ineligible voters. Schultz told legislators it was his fraud investigation that resolved things. “These three people would not have their voting rights today restored and in the system fixed for them were it not for these DCI investigations,” Schultz said.
Court records were not accurate, according to Schultz, who says two of his staff members have to manually input the names of felons who’ve had their voting rights restored because there’s no way — yet — to merge the two lists electronically. Senator Matt McCoy, a Democrat from Des Moines, told Schultz that rather than pursing cases of alleged voter fraud, he should be using federal “Help America Vote Act” grants to improve the voter registration system. “I would spend my energy and my efforts making sure that this isn’t a hand-entered system,” McCoy said. “I mean, that’s embarrassing.”