Recently, Linn County Election Services (LCES) had a phone call from a citizen who received a “Canceled – Convicted Felon Letter” after registering to vote at an Iowa DOT drivers’ license station. Here is a summary of the events that occurred to get her records corrected:
The citizen said she had never been convicted of a felony, although she had been charged.
LCES searched the Felon List within I-Voters and it showed an “N” for “No” in the “Restored/Corrected” field, which meant she was a felon.
LCES gave the citizen the case number and conviction date listed in her I-Voters record.
The citizen said she would contact the clerk of court.
A few hours later, LCES got a call from the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office indicating the citizen’s record had been corrected and LCES should make her an Active voter.
LCES double-checked IVoters and it did indeed show a “C” for “Corrected” in the “Restored/Corrected” column.
LCES made the citizen/voter Active and initiated the process to issue her a Voter Acknowledgement Card.
According to a 9/24/2019 story in the Des Moines Register, “More than 2600 people have been found to have been erroneously listed on the state’s felon list since 2016”.
Chapter 721 of the Code of Iowa states: Any public officer/employee who “… knowingly delivers a falsified writing, with the knowledge that the writing is falsified and that the writing will become a public record of a government body” commits a crime.
Regarding the Felon List, as long ago as 4/15/2015, the Director of Elections for the Iowa Secretary of State, “…noted that the quality of information that has been received from the local clerk’s offices in the past is not reliable ….”
One of the arguments for Iowa passing Voter ID was: If the new Voter ID law keeps even one ineligible voter from voting, then we should pass it. Using that logic, if the current Felon List disenfranchises even one eligible voter, then the Felon List should be abandoned and NOT used by the State’s election officials. Maybe someone should file an injunction prohibiting the use of the Felon List within IVoters? Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor