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Judicial Watch Study Uncovers Dirty Voting Rolls in Iowa

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Judicial Watch stepped up this week to call attention to the issue of dirty voting rolls in Iowa.
A Judicial Watch study found that eight Iowa counties have more voter registrations than their eligible voting-age population. According to their analysis of data released by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) in 2019 and U.S. Census Bureau’s five-year American Community Survey (also released in 2019), eight Iowa counties are on the list of 378 counties nationwide that have more voter registrations than citizens living there who are old enough to vote, i.e., counties where registration rates exceed 100%. These 378 counties combined had about 2.5 million registrations over the 100%-registered mark. In Iowa, there are at least 18,658 “extra names” on the voting rolls in the eight counties at issue.
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Under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA), we sent notice-of-violation letters to 19 large counties in five states (California, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, and Colorado) that we intend to sue unless the jurisdictions take steps to comply with the law and remove ineligible voter registrations. Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act requires jurisdictions to take reasonable efforts to remove ineligible registrations from its rolls.
The chart below details our data on eight Iowa counties’ registration rate percentages:
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Reg. RateTotal Pop.
Dallas County
114.880,864
Johnson County107.9144,425
Lyon County102.511,745
Madison County102.515,720
Poweshiek County102.118,428
Dickinson County100.917,000
Scott County100.8171,493
Warren County100.548,630
In addition to the eight counties listed above, Polk County, Iowa’s largest, has an unusually high registration rate of 95.9% of total eligible citizen voting-age population.
Dirty voting rolls can mean dirty elections, and Iowa needs to undertake a serious effort to address its voting rolls.
Judicial Watch is the national leader in enforcing the National Voters Registration Act, which requires states to take reasonable steps to clean their voting rolls. In 2018, the Supreme Court upheld a massive voter roll clean up that resulted from our settlement of a federal lawsuit with Ohio. California also settled a similar lawsuit we brought against the state that last year began the process of removing up to 1.5 million “inactive” names from Los Angeles County voting rolls. Kentucky also began a cleanup of up to 250,00 names last year after it entered into a consent decree with us to end another Judicial Watch lawsuit.
Despite our demonstrated expertise and court successes, after our numbers were announced a key government official spread falsehoods about Judicial Watch’s data, which was gleefully picked up by the leftist media. To be clear, it is shameful that the secretary state of Iowa would mislead Iowans and Americans about the accuracy of the state’s registration rolls.
Again, our analysis of Iowa’s state registration rolls is based on official voter registration data provided by Iowa to the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) for publication in 2019. Data concerning such registrations must be reported to the EAC by law under federal regulation 11 C.F.R. § 9428.7. This is how we found the eight counties with registration rates over 100% of the voting age population. The next reliable report on Iowa’s registration rolls won’t occur until after the November election, as the EAC’s next report will be released in 2021.
The Iowa secretary of state’s release of interim voter registration data further confirms our concerns and shows that five of the eight counties we listed are still over 100%. Nearly three dozen counties have a registration rate over 95% of the voter age population, which is extraordinarily high. Our data has proven to be a strong indicator of voter registration issues and a basis for further inquiry.
Iowa’s secretary of state and local officials need to clean up the election rolls and reassure voters that the state’s election process is being administered in compliance with federal law and common sense.

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