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by Sharon Rondeau

Flag of Iowa, public domain, Wikimedia Commons

(Feb. 3, 2020) — According to a press release by Judicial Watch on Monday, “eight Iowa counties have more voter registrations than their eligible voting-age population…In Iowa, there are at least 18,658 ‘extra names’ on the voting rolls in the eight counties at issue.”

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton remarked on the finding, “Dirty voting rolls can mean dirty elections and Iowa need to undertake a serious effort to address its voting rolls.”

The release recounts successful voter-registration lawsuits brought by the organization against Ohio, Kentucky, and the County of Los Angeles in which the latter “began the process of removing up to 1.5 million “inactive” names from Los Angeles County voting rolls” in 2019.

In response, Iowa Secretary of State Paul D. Pate’s office released the following statement:



CONTACT: Kevin Hall
Communications Director
(515) 725-2942

MEDIA RELEASE: Official data rebuts false claims regarding Iowa voter registration

DES MOINES – A Washington D.C.-based organization made false claims today in a news release regarding voter registration information in eight Iowa counties. Judicial Watch claims that total registration numbers in these counties are larger than the eligible voter population. Official data compiled by the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office shows this information is false.

“It’s unfortunate this organization continues to put out inaccurate data regarding voter registration, and it’s especially disconcerting they chose the day of the Iowa Caucus to do this,” Secretary Pate said. “My office has told this organization, and others who have made similar claims, that their data regarding Iowa is deeply flawed and their false claims erode voter confidence in elections. They should stop this misinformation campaign immediately and quit trying to disenfranchise Iowa voters.”

Iowa’s voter registration statistics are publicly available on the Secretary of State’s website. They are updated monthly. These numbers show that the ones claimed by Judicial Watch in their news release today are patently false.

Along with their false claims about the voter registration numbers, the organization’s claims about Iowa population are greatly underestimated, according to actual data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Iowa Secretary of State’s Office stands with its county auditors and the methods they use to provide clean and accurate voter rolls.



Kevin Hall
Communications Director
Office of Iowa Secretary of State Paul D. Pate

Update, 7:41 p.m. EST:  Judicial Watch rebutted Pate’s press release with a second statement claiming that the Secretary of State “misled” the public.  “Judicial Watch’s analysis of Iowa’s state registration rolls is based on official voter registration data provided by Iowa to the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) for publication in 2019. Data concerning such registrations must be reported to the EAC by law under federal regulation 11 C.F.R. § 9428.7,” President Tom Fitton stated.

“Iowa’s Secretary of State and local officials need to clean up the election rolls and reassure voters that the state’s election process is being administered in compliance with federal law and common sense,” Fitton concluded.


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  1. A.C.
    That reminds me of the time that Trump said the crime rate in cities across the country was higher than ever, and Obama “rebutted” and said that ACTUALLY crime in the USA overall had fallen. Turns out both were right.

  2. After visiting the federal Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC’s) website and learning that they control funds to states for voting upgrades, etc. and rereading the article, it seems to me that Judicial Watch and the Iowa Sec. State are talking about two different sets of numbers. That allows both to be right, so to speak.

    It’s clear that a two pronged investigation is needed. One for financial fraud: did Iowa government inflate the numbers it sent to the EAC to receive more money? The other to carefully analyze ballot rolls and populations to ensure they are current.

    This isn’t over yet.

    1. We received an absentee ballot request in the mail that was for the original owner of our property that died 17 years ago. How did this happen? I assume he’s still active on the voter roll.