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On July 20, 2012, the Republican Secretary of State, Matt Schultz, instituted new 'emergency' rules that effect who may be able to vote in November.

Thanks to the ACLU and AP reporter Ryan J. Foley, this information is now coming to light. The ACLU has filed a lawsuit to block this action, and I'm hoping that it succeeds, but all voters need to check their status while this is going on. This can be done at the Iowa SOS site.

For details of what Mr. Schultz did, follow me over the Itzl.

This is from the AP report on Mr. Schultz's action:

Schultz issued emergency rules on July 20 — without any public notice or input — giving his office authority to compare Iowa's list of 2.1 million registered voters against lists of foreign nationals living in Iowa obtained from unspecified state and federal agencies. The rules say any matches should be turned over to investigators to determine whether they are the same person and whether they are still non-U.S. citizens who should be ineligible to vote.

If they are thought to be ineligible voters, Schultz's office will send notice telling them they may be illegally registered, a class D felony, and should cancel their registrations immediately. They would be given 14 days to dispute the notice; if they fail to do so, Schultz's office would take steps to remove them from the list. The rules instruct local elections officials to challenge any absentee ballots filed by such voters and to send in their prior voting histories to Schultz's office.

That is the first of the two emergency actions that Mr. Schultz has taken. The other?
The second rule allows individuals to report allegations of voter fraud to Schultz's office and says all complaints "shall be forwarded to the appropriate agency for further investigation and follow-up as deemed necessary."
The problems with this is that previously, any complaints made had to be done as a sworn statement, under oath. That requirement no longer applies as of July 20.

And what was the excuse that Mr. Schultz gave for his secrecy about these changes?

In issuing the rules, Schultz's office said that "notice and public participation are contrary to the public interest" because the procedures had to be in place before the Nov. 6 presidential election so that complaints are handled uniformly and investigated properly.
I urge any voters in states with a Republican Secretary of State to use the site to check that they are registered and able to vote this November. As has been indicated in the diary by I'm a Frayed Knot that got me to look into this, we must all make sure this news gets out and voter status checked.

Because they have such a weak candidate, they are doing whatever they can to reduce the number of Democratic voters in hopes of winning the election in that way. We must all fight this!

Update: After a suggestion below from Hopefruit2, I was able to find a page with links to  each secretary of state site, along with a telephone number to call. This could be used by anyone to find out their voter registration status.

Update #2 (thanks to dragonlady):

Instead of the Secretary of State, the Government Accountability Board is in charge of elections.

Website to look up voter registration status:

Phone number: 866-VOTE-WIS

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