Judicial Watch put out a video explaining its concerns with Iowa’s voter rolls.
Bob Popper, a senior attorney at Judicial Watch, explained what the organization found.
“Every two years the Election Assistance Commission, a federal agency, releases data,” Popper said. “This is data that chief state election officials in each state certify to the EAC as their official description.”
Popper said Iowa did that, as well as all the other states that report to the EAC. Judicial Watch compares those numbers to contemporaneous census data. He said they use data describing the citizen voting-age population in each county for as many counties as they can do. Typically it’s about 2,600 counties.
“What it shows, in particular, is it shows the registration rate of each county in the country,” Popper said. “And, a typical rate might be somewhere in the 80s or 90s, but if you have a registration rate of over 100 percent, which means that you have more registered voters than you have citizens over the age of 18 who could lawfully register, you might have a problem.”
Numbers above 95 percent cause Popper concern.
More than 370 counties had numbers over 100 percent. Nationally, there were 2.5 million extra names on the rolls.
Judicial Watch found eight counties in Iowa with registration rates exceeding 100 percent.
“This is what the state supplied to the federal government, along with its assurance that this is accurate,” Popper said.
After Judicial Watch put out the information, Secretary of State Paul Pate said the data is false.
“They put out data that they had not certified to the federal government, but which they allege is current,” Popper said. “They say that using current population estimates, population estimating is its own special art and science, but within those tolerances, they argue that there are fewer counties that are over 100 percent.”
If the numbers currently being put out are accurate, Judicial Watch found there are still five counties with registration rates at or exceeding 100 percent.
Popper said the new data does not undermine Judicial Watch’s analysis, but it instead confirms it.
“It’s consistent with it, it’s in the same area,” Popper said. “If they have undertaken a program to remove significant numbers of inactive registrations from the voter rolls, then it’s possible that the numbers have changed. It’s possible that their current data is, in fact, the accurate statement of their registration records. And it’s possible that a new estimate of the population of the state of Iowa and of each of those counties, compared to those registration numbers, will show different numbers.”