Iowa elections chief softens voter removal rules

Published On: Nov 29 2012 06:27:38 AM CST   Updated On: Nov 29 2012 06:27:00 AM CST
Iowa Capitol
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -

After a lawsuit and a barrage of criticism, Iowa's top elections official is dropping key parts of rules governing how his office will remove foreign nationals from the state's voter registration database.

Secretary of State Matt Schultz announced Wednesday that he had made significant changes to rules that outline how his office will use a federal database to verify and remove ineligible non-citizens. A judge has blocked rules that Schultz issued in July on an emergency basis from going into effect after civil rights groups filed a lawsuit challenging them.

Schultz says he has dropped a rule on how voting fraud allegations can be filed, acknowledging confusion over the purpose. He says he has also greatly extended the time for voters targeted for removal to file responses and challenges.