Judge blocks Iowa plan challenging voters - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Judge blocks Iowa plan challenging voters

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -

A district court judge says Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz cannot move forward with new rules that would challenge voters appearing on databases as non-citizens.

Judge Mary Pat Gunderson issued a ruling Friday blocking Schultz from implementing voting rules he established without holding a public hearing.

Schultz created the new rules in July, using an administrative emergency rulemaking process. He says he needed to act quickly before the November election because non-citizens might be registered to vote.

The ACLU and the United Latin American Citizens of Iowa filed for an injunction against the new rules, claiming they may prevent citizens from voting.

Both sides issues statements Friday afternoon.

"Today's decision is only a temporary injunction, but unfortunately this ruling could open the door for non-citizens to continue voting in Iowa elections. I am committed to fair and honest elections. I worked to prevent non-citizens from voting using a fair and reasonable process and that is still my intent.  Although I am very disappointed in this ruling, this is just one of many steps in the process and I am resolved to continuing to fight for the people of Iowa and protecting the integrity of our elections," Matt Schultz said.

"We believe that every qualified, eligible Iowan should be free to exercise their most profound right of citizenship, the right to vote. This decision ensures that those rights will be protected while our case is proceeding, and that no Iowan, regardless of their Latino heritage, regardless of their status as new U.S. Citizens, will have to wonder what it will cost them to vote this coming election," ACLU of Iowa Legislative Director Rita Bettis said.

"We hope the ruling eliminates any fears Latino Iowa citizens had in exercising their right to vote, and that the Latino community will come out in full force to vote on Election Day," League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa President Joe Enriquez Henry said.

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