WASHINGTON, DC – After spending 20 months and hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on a partisan witch hunt, an investigation led by Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz into charges of voter fraud has concluded with virtually zero evidence of fraud occurring.
Schultz spent $240,000 in taxpayer funds from the Help America Vote Act – money that is supposed to be allocated for use in educating voters and increasing civic participation – in order to pursue his investigation. Schultz has also sought hundreds of thousands more in funds to continue this practice even after it became clear the investigation would come up fruitless.
“Iowa is one of the most participatory and civic-minded states in the nation. Secretary of State Schultz has abused the power of his office in order to push a tea party Koch-funded playbook to disenfranchise and scare voters,” said iVote Executive Director Steven Walker. “It’s shameful that Schultz is using funds intended for voter education to instead disenfranchise voters by going after individual Iowans. This is exactly why we need flip the script and go on offense for voting rights.”
Over those 20 months, only five people plead guilty to voter violations. But the Des Moines Register has reported that those cases “generally involved voters who didn’t intentionally violate state election laws.”
“The Secretary of State is supposed to be the chief advocate for voters,” said Jocelyn Benson, national voting rights expert and 2010 Democratic nominee for Secretary of State in Michigan. “This is exactly why we need iVote to help elect Secretaries of State that help make voting easier for everyone.”
iVote, a new voting rights campaign dedicated to the powerful notion that every eligible citizen should vote, recently launched an offensive against orchestrated efforts to block people from voting. iVote will target Secretary of State races in Colorado, Nevada, Iowa and Ohio, activating grassroots armies to elect Secretaries of State who will protect every American’s access to voting.
The iVote Board of Directors includes Doug Sosnik, Frank Smith, Ellen Kurz, Jeremy Bird, Michael Blake, Rachael Cobb, Ralph Paige, Wendy Smith and Pete Giangreco. iVote is being advised by 270 Strategies, AKPD, David Binder Research, and Greenberg Rosner Research.