Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton put out a tweet over the weekend that said eight Iowa counties have more voter registrations than citizens old enough to register. On Monday, the organization issued a press release talking about the issue.
You can read the release here.
The Iowa Secretary of State’s office put out a press release a little more than two hours later, saying that Judicial Watch is making false claims, calling it a “misinformation campaign.”
You can read that release here.
After receiving the release from the Secretary of State, The Iowa Standard reached out to Judicial Watch for further information. Within minutes, we received a call from Fitton.
Fitton said the group used official data generated in 2019 from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Judicial Watch then uses census data as well from that time.
“It’s an accurate representation of the data,” Fitton said. “The Secretary of State suggests things have gotten better since then. Then we’ll see that in the next official report in 2021. In the mean time, our data says there’s a problem and the Secretary of State says there’s a problem that is slightly getting better.”
Information put out by Judicial Watch is not done so lightly, Fitton said.
“When we put data out like this, it’s data that we’re using and generating in part to potentially go to court with,” he said. “So we’re quite adamant that it’s correct.”
When voter rolls are not clean, the extra names on those rolls (inactive voters, for example) provide a pool of potential illegal voting.
“Now, in Iowa, thankfully they have a Voter ID law that mitigates that,” Fitton said. “But these are issues that show the lists are dirty. Federal law is not being followed. Either way it shows the lists need to be cleaned in a more rigorous way.”
Judicial Watch is hopeful that Iowa will be more diligent in cleaning up the voter lists, which is required by law.
“We have to rely on the Election Assistance Commission report,” Fitton said. “We have to rely on census data. Our snapshot in 2019 suggests there are major problems in Iowa. There are no numbers put out there today that suggest otherwise.”
Fitton called the 2019 report the “standard.”
“Informal numbers placed on the internet are not the standard,” he said.
Clean voter rolls are one more way to ensure election integrity.
“Not enough states have Voter ID like Iowa does,” Fitton said. “Major states like California, New York, Pennsylvania don’t have Voter ID. It’s a major issue, which makes it all the more important to have clean lists.”
Rather than taking exception with Judicial Watch’s numbers, Fitton said Pate should have taken a different approach in his response.
“His approach should be ‘thank you Judicial Watch for highlighting this issue,’” Fitton said. “‘We take this issue seriously. Our rolls are getting a little bit cleaner, but there’s a long way to go.’ That’s the reality of it.”