News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Sam Roecker   
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 11:01
Plan Includes Expanding Use of Electronic Poll Books & Updating Voter Registration Database
CLINTON, Iowa – Today, at an event in Clinton, Iowa, Secretary of State candidate Brad Anderson announced his plan to end the wasteful criminal investigations in the Secretary of State’s office attempting to prove the existence of voter fraud in Iowa.  In addition, Anderson announces his commitment to preventing potential voter fraud before it happens by committing to expand the use of electronic poll books to all 99 counties.

“There is a clear choice in the race for Secretary of State – continuing the Matt Schultz agenda of wasteful investigations and voter intimidation, or turning the page and finding ways to modernize the office and encourage more Iowans to participate in our elections,” said Anderson.  “I believe our state’s reputation for clean and fair elections has been put at risk because our Secretary of State has spent his entire term in office trying to prove Iowans are cheaters.  It’s time to turn the page on these fruitless investigations and get back to encouraging Iowans to get out there and vote.”

Since Schultz took office, millions of votes have been cast and hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars have been spent trying to prove voter fraud exists in Iowa.  Despite years of investigations, only six Iowans have pled guilty to election misconduct, “with most involving voters who said they didn’t know they were ineligible or that their actions represented election misconduct,” according to the Des Moines Register.

On March 20th a Lee County jury acquitted a former Iowa drug offender and mother of three young children who was charged with voter fraud as a result of Schultz’s investigation and faced up to 15 years in prison.  Without dissention, the jury ruled the mother had simply made “a mistake” by registering to vote because, as the jury foreman said, “she thought she had her rights restored.”

In February Schultz said he expects to spend $240,000 in federal Help America Vote Act funding on the criminal voter fraud investigation.  He also requested an additional $140,000 in state funding for the upcoming fiscal year to continue his fraud investigation.

Our tax dollars must be used more effectively. Anderson believes it is time to take the office in a different direction:

STEP #1: Immediate end to hiring criminal investigator.
  • Upon taking office, Anderson will put an immediate end to the Matt Schultz practice of wasting either federal or state taxpayer dollars to hire criminal investigators in the Secretary of State’s office.

STEP #2: Expand use of electronic pollbooks.
  • Anderson commits to working with local election officials and investing in measures that are proven to prevent potential voter fraud such as electronic pollbooks.  By expanding the use of electronic pollbooks in all 99 counties, Iowans who choose to vote at the polls on election day could check-in electronically and the local poll worker will let them know immediately if they are eligible to vote and at the correct polling location.

STEP #3: Update voter registration rolls.
  • Anderson will invest in updating voter registration database to ensure eligible Iowa voters are no longer prevented from casting a vote, as was the case recently in Cerro Gordo county when three voters had their votes thrown out because their names mistakenly appeared on a Secretary of State list of ineligible voters.

“Modernizing the office and detecting fraud before it happens will strengthen the integrity of our elections without disenfranchising a single, eligible Iowa voter,” said Anderson.  “This is common sense, but to move forward we need a Secretary of State who cares more about governing than pushing some political agenda to suppress votes.”

In December 2012, Anderson unveiled his plan to make Iowa number one in the nation in voter turnout through implementing such measures as online voter registration and allowing Iowans to sign-up for permanent absentee ballots.

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