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VOTER LAWS: Rules Committee Won’t Decide Until March

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It could be months before Iowa voters get an official response to the Secretary of State’s attempt to purge voter registration rolls.

Before the November election 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.

The Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee held a hearing Wednesday, but took no action. It likely won’t be able to vote on the rule until March.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa and other civil rights groups want Schultz to withdraw his plan because they say the rule intimidates minority voters.

Democratic Senator Pam Jochum says Schultz doesn’t have the legal authority to pass the rule himself, he needs to send a bill to the Legislature for consideration.