Iowa county says it canceled voting rights of the wrong man
SPENCER, Iowa (AP) - An auditor says her office mistakenly canceled the voting rights of a northwest Iowa rancher who has the same name as a felon.
Clay County Auditor Marge Pitts said Friday her office made Christopher E. Wood ineligible to vote last fall. She said that was an "unfortunate error" because he'd done nothing wrong. Her office had intended to cancel the voting rights of repeat criminal offender Christopher R. Wood.
Pitts said she worked with the state to correct the mistake and restore Wood's voting rights after he complained. She noted that there were no elections when he was disqualified.
The rancher said he was stunned when he got a letter saying he was disenfranchised. He said locals have a long and unfortunate history of confusing him with the other man.
American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Rita Bettis says the case shows a "lack of appropriate safeguards and procedural checks" in Iowa's felon list.
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