(DES MOINES)–Secretary of State Matt Schultz issued the following statement on District Court Judge Mary Pat Gunderson’s ruling Friday granting a motion for temporary injunction in the American Civil Liberties Union, and League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa, v. Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz:
“Today’s decision is only a temporary injunction, but unfortunately this ruling could open the door for non-citizens to continue voting in Iowa elections. I am committed to fair and honest elections. I worked to prevent non-citizens from voting using a fair and reasonable process and that is still my intent.
“Although I am very disappointed in this ruling, this is just one of many steps in the litigation process and I am resolved to continuing to fight for the people of Iowa and protecting the integrity of our elections.”
Schultz explained that the new rule resulted from discussions between his office and the federal government concerning the state’s request to access the federal government’s immigration and citizenship SAVE database (Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements).
Schultz sought access to the database after learning that 3,582 non-citizens may have registered to vote in Iowa, and that 1208 of those individuals voted in the 2010 election. The list was generated from DOT records of non-citizens who had obtained a driver’s license in the State of Iowa, and provided their driver’s license number when registering to vote.
“Access to the SAVE database will allow our office to verify whether those individuals are non-citizens or if they have become citizens since applying for their driver’s license. You must be a citizen of the United States in order to vote in our elections, and I have a duty as the Secretary of State and chief commissioner of elections to safeguard the integrity of elections in Iowa,” stated Schultz.
ARC 0272C was implemented to establish a process to communicate with those individuals who remain positively identified as non-citizens after comparison with the federal government’s immigration and citizenship database.
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