By Sheena Dooley | Iowa Watchdog
DES MOINES — A Polk County judge blocked Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz from moving forward with voting rules aimed at removing noncitizens from voter rolls.
Judge Mary Pat Gunderson issued a ruling late Friday ordering an injunction to halt the implementation of the rules until the court makes a decision on a lawsuit challenging them. She did not make any statements in her ruling regarding the merit of the case, which was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa and a Latino advocacy group.
Schultz adopted the emergency rules in July without public input. They allow him to access a federal immigration database to check the citizenship status of more than 3,500 immigrants who are registered to vote. His office has yet to access the database, while the 70-day deadline for removing voters from the rolls before the November election has already passed.
The two advocacy groups filed the lawsuit in August, saying Schultz inappropriately used his authority and was outside of the law when adopting the emergency rules. They also say they are too vague and unfairly target minorities.