The Iowa state auditor’s office has agreed to review whether Secretary of State Matt Schultz has improperly used federal money to investigate possible illegal voting in Iowa. State Auditor Mary Mosiman, who was appointed to her post last month by Gov. Terry Branstad, detailed the plans in a letter sent last week to state Sen. Tom Courtney, D-Burlington. Because Mosiman formerly worked in the secretary of state’s office, she said she has assigned final responsibility for the review to her chief deputy, Warren Jenkins. The state auditor’s office agreed to proceed after being informed by the Inspector General of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission that federal officials did not plan to conduct the review because the commission did not have a sufficient number of members to constitute a quorum. Without a quorum, the commission cannot issue rulings.
Courtney contends Schultz has improperly used federal money from the Help America Vote Act which is intended to help educate Iowans about voting procedures, voting rights and voting technology. The Secretary of State’s office says the federal money can be used for other purposes as well. Courtney claims Schultz is using the federal money on a “voter fraud goose chase.”
Chief Deputy Jenkins said Friday the state auditor’s office will report its findings to Schultz’s office and to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
“Since it is federal funds that are allegedly being used, the commission will make the final decision if they ever get a quorum,” Jenkins said.
Mosiman did not have a timetable for the review to be completed, although she promised in her letter to conduct it “as expeditiously as possible.”