Ruling approves use of federal grant $ to pursue voter fraud - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Ruling approves use of federal grant $ to pursue voter fraud

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- A federal agency says states can use grant money intended to improve elections in order to pay for criminal investigations of voter fraud.

The decision this month by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission comes as a relief to election administrators in Iowa, who won't have to pay back $240,000 that was used for a two-year voter fraud investigation.

At issue was whether the Help America Vote Act funding could be used for such a purpose.

Critics such as Democratic state Sen. Tom Courtney said that was not the law's intent. Courtney says the commission's ruling sounds like "a real stretch."

But the commission says Iowa's spending was reasonable. It says the law requires states to ensure that voter registration records are accurate but gives them discretion on how to comply.

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