For more information, contact:
Joel D. Miller Travis Weipert
Linn County Auditor Johnson County Auditor
(319) 892-5333 (319) 356-6004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2017
Linn & Johnson County Auditors Request SoS Rescind Request on Felon Database
LINN COUNTY AND JOHNSON COUNTY, IA – April 5, 2017 – County Auditors Joel Miller and Travis Weipert announced today their opposition to a request by the Iowa Secretary of State (SoS) to verify the status of felons in the I-Voters Voter Registration database. To date, the SoS has been responsible for the maintenance of the statewide felon database. At times the felon database has been inaccurate, which resulted in eligible voters being on the felon list who should not have been on the list – see
Non-felons wrongly put on felon list not allowed to vote (12 non-felons voters disenfranchised in 2012) http://www.kwwl.com//story/25226515/2014/04/11/non-felons-wrongly-put-on-felon-list-not-allowed-to-vote#.WM1bRXqyEpg.twitter
Weipert and Miller indicate this is another unfunded mandate with legal liability being shifted to Iowa’s 99 county auditors. Miller stated, "So instead of a single office in the State, i.e., the SoS being responsible for working with Iowa’s court system, the SoS is pushing the work and the liability for errors onto me and Iowa’s other county auditors."
If the Linn County Auditor honors the SoS’s request, his office will have to contact 14 county clerks of court to confirm information in the felon database. If the Johnson County Auditor honors the SoS’s request, his office will have to contact nine county clerks of court to confirm information in the felon database. Weipert indicated, "The SoS’s request is not authorized in the Iowa Administrative Code and is non-enforceable."
Miller and Weipert agree, "Based upon the pending legislation proposed by the Secretary of State’s Office, it appears the SoS wants to micromanage the elections processes occurring at the county level while at the same time pushing more work onto the counties with this, its most recent request to manage the felon database. We respectfully request that the SoS rescind its recent request to counties to administer the felon database."