VOTER PURGE: Iowans Speak Out Against Schultz

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Dozens of Iowans turned out to speak their minds on the Secretary of State’s stalled investigation into illegal voters in Iowa.

Last fall Secretary of State Matt Schultz announced a plan to compare a list of registered Iowa voters against a federal database to find voters who aren’t U.S. citizens. Those whose names were questioned would then be required to prove their citizenship before they were allowed to vote.

After legal challenges from civil rights groups, a judge shut down Schultz’s investigation before Election Day.

On Thursday a public hearing in Des Moines drew a crowd so big they overflowed the room and had to wait in the hallway.

“Do you really believe that people who are non-citizens that live in fear of deportation every day are trying to register to vote?  Do you really think those people want to put their names on a government list and risk their future for themselves in this country,” said one of the speakers. Another added, “It freaks me out.  It’s too dog-gone scary.  That is the intent of the rule is to scare people to stay home.  That’s really what it’s about.”

Others who spoke questioned how Secretary Schultz paid for the investigation, which is exactly the same question Democratic State Senator Tom Courtney is asking. Courtney wants the State Auditor to find out if Schultz misspent federal money that is supposed to be used to help people vote.

During the two hour meeting only two people spoke in favor of Schultz’s investigation.

Before Election Day DCI agents working with the Secretary of State’s office did charge six Iowans with voter fraud.