Iowa has 2,123,024 registered voters as of Dec. 2. We have had the 2011 local elections, 2012 primary and general elections, and 2013 local elections, as well as a number of special elections, with more than 2 million votes cast since he was elected to office.
Out of more than 2 million votes, 16 were, allegedly, cast illegally. This number is not zero, and no fraud should be tolerable. But he has spent $149,000 to file charges on 16 people, to have five plead guilty and five cases be dismissed. That’s nearly $30,000 per conviction.
It would be great if he would spend time and money to educate Iowans on the rules, as a number of the five convictions I read about in the newspaper were felons who had served their time and thought they got their voting rights back, which was true under Govs. Vilsack and Culver.
They clearly did not know the law. So if some of the tax dollars that Secretary Schultz has spent on trying to identify and punish these lawbreakers had been spent on voter education or specifically on ex-offender education, I would bet most of those cases would never have happened.
Schultz could focus on making voting in Iowa easier. But it appears to be a matter of priorities — education to resolve the issue or using the issue for political gain.
— Ken Sagar, president, Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO, Des Moines