Secretary of State
Des Moines, IA 50319
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
|FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Chad Olsen (515) 242-6235
Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz Comments
on Recent Rule Change
(Des Moines)—On Wednesday, August 8, 2012, a suit was filed against the Iowa Secretary of State regarding procedures for removing ineligible non-citizens from voter registration rolls in Iowa. Secretary Schultz believes the concerns are unfounded and that the rules actually enhance the due process available to anyone subject to removal. Secretary Schultz made the following statement:
“Working with the Iowa DOT, my office has identified more than a thousand registered voters who are potentially not citizens of this country. The federal government maintains a database called the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement (SAVE). SAVE maintains information about an individual’s immigration status, including whether they have become naturalized as a citizen and, if so, when. After seeking access to this database in order to verify the citizenship status of these individuals, we finally were informed in late July that the federal government would give the State of Iowa access to that database to verify citizenship and that Iowa would be required to submit a new application. As a result we immediately enacted administrative rules to clarify to the federal government, and the public, what legal process we would use to remove non-citizens from the voter rolls. The new rules enhance the due process available to individuals identified through this effort.
To be as fair as possible in this process, we are giving every individual a hearing prior to being removed from the voter rolls. No county auditor, I repeat, no auditor has been directed to remove any person’s name from the voter registration rolls for being a non-citizen. There is no purge of non-citizens taking place in Iowa and to say otherwise is a misrepresentation of the facts.
Our only intent has been to work for integrity and honesty in elections. That is what the people of Iowa hired me to do and I take it as a serious responsibility of this office.”