ACLU Iowa and LULAC Iowa Request An Injunction to Stop Voter Suppression Rules

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August 3, 2012

ACLU of Iowa, League of United Latin American Citizens File Request

for Injunction To Stop New Voter Suppression Rules

Des Moines, Iowa -- The ACLU of Iowa and League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) of Iowa
today filed a request for an injunction to halt the improper implementation of two voter suppression
rules by Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz.

The first voter suppression rule allows Schultz to purge Iowa’s voter registration list by comparing with it
unspecified federal and state agency lists. Schultz has not specified which lists he is using. “The public
has no way to be sure he’s using accurate, up-to-date information to remove voters from Iowa’s voter
lists,” said ACLU of Iowa Executive Director Ben Stone. “The potential for erroneous information is

The second voter suppression rule would create a new, unreliable way for people to make voter fraud
complaints to the Secretary of State's office. The new method would skirt Iowa law by removing a
requirement that the person swear to the truth of their allegation, with criminal penalties for false reports.
The ACLU and LULAC also assert that under Iowa law, Schultz doesn’t have the legal authority to
implement these rules and by doing so, is in violation of the law.

"This illegal effort by the Secretary of State to purge Iowa's voter list threatens to deprive eligible
registered Iowa voters of their constitutionally protected right to vote,” said Stone. “We want to make
sure that doesn’t happen.”

Also, the ACLU and LULAC are concerned about Schultz’s timing and procedure. Schultz provided no
public notice about implementation of these voter suppression rules. And he is doing so right before the
general election in November. “Schultz implemented these rules unilaterally on July 20 without proper
authority to do so and without giving any notice to the public.”

Iowa LULAC State Director Joseph Enriquez Henry said, “To begin a purge of registered voters so close
to the fall elections is unconscionable. We urge Mr. Schultz to cease his political activity and to keep
politics out of the elected office that he holds." Stone concurs: “We demand that the Secretary of State immediately rescind these rules and stop playing

political games with the voting rights of eligible voters in Iowa.”
Henry said he is concerned that the purge is most likely to erroneously identify Latinos in Iowa,
especially new citizens or citizens with last names similar to registered non-citizens, who are not eligible
to vote.

"Iowa's Secretary of State has taken it upon himself to conduct a witch hunt upon the minority
community in Iowa, specifically targeting the 152,000 Latinos who live here,” said Henry. “This summer
we expect to identify and register 40,000 Latinos who are Iowa citizens. We are very worried that they
will be wrongfully and erroneously purged.”

Legal counsel for the case is Des Moines attorneys Dan Johnston and Joseph Glazebrook of Glazebrook
and Moe, LLP, as well as Nancy Abudu and Laughlin McDonald of the national ACLU Voting Rights

Johnston and Glazebrook prepared a joint statement on the case: “We are pleased to be able to assist with
this case, which seeks to vindicate the rights of all Iowans. Secretary Schultz has not only engaged in an
effort to restrict voting rights—he has done so outside the legislative process. This is something we
cannot sit by and allow to happen.”

The League of United Latin American Citizens was founded 83 years ago. It is the largest
national Latino and Hispanic civil rights and advocacy group in the United States. It works to improve
opportunities for Hispanics and Latin Americans across a wide range of issues, including voter rights.
Iowa LULAC is active through several councils in the state.  For 
more information, please go to

The ACLU of Iowa is a private, non-partisan organization that fights to advance civil liberties for
all. It is the state affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU prides itself in upholding everyone’s civil liberties, no matter who they are or what
they believe. We have worked to assure the rights of all Iowans—from atheists to devout Christians, from
labor unions to businesspeople and more—to make sure the constitutional rights of all are preserved. For
more information, please go to

Ben Stone, ACLU of Iowa Executive Director

Joseph Enriquez Henry, 

Veronica Lorson Fowler, ACLU of Iowa Communications Director

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