Charges have been dismissed against three Council Bluffs residents accused of election misconduct for registering to vote without U.S. citizenship, though the charges could be refiled at a later date, prosecutors said Monday. A Canadian couple and a woman originally from Mexico were charged with election misconduct and fraudulent practice in September. Prosecutors alleged they registered to vote without being U.S. citizens, but the three individuals, who were legally living in the U.S., said they were unaware they had done anything wrong. Prosecutors dismissed the charges because a key witness, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation agent looking into the cases, has been called to active military duty and unable to testify. Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber confirmed Monday that the charges could be refiled at a later date.
Albert Harte-Maxwell, 53, and his 49-year-old wife, Linda, who are Canadian, along with Maria Ayon-Fernandez, who is from Mexico but has been living in the U.S. for decades, were charged under an investigation pushed by Secretary of State Matt Schultz. The first-term Republican who has made fighting election fraud his signature issue.
Schultz alleged noncitizens were registering to vote and in some cases voting in Iowa. He used a $280,000 federal grant to launch a two-year investigation. Critics say the state has no such problem and have called the probe a waste of money.
Schultz has said he turned over names of more than 1,000 potential noncitizens who voted since 2010, after comparing lists of noncitizens with driving permits against those who voted in recent elections. So far, eight people have been charged.
Full Article: Voter fraud case against W. Iowans dismissed – SFGate.