Former legislator Struyk to advise Secretary of State Schultz

Incoming Secretary of State Matt Schultz announced today that former State Representative Doug Struyk will serve as his policy advisor and legal counsel. Schultz has been a Council Bluffs city councilman, while Struyk represented House district 99, containing the northeast part of that city, for four terms. He was first elected to the Iowa House as a Democrat but switched to the Republican side early on.

Before retiring from the legislature, Struyk was the top-ranking Republican on the Iowa House State Government Committee, which considers bills related to election law. In 2007, Struyk voted against HF 653, the bill enacting same-day voter registration in Iowa, as did every other House Republican. Click here for the bill history, including a long list of Republican-sponsored amendments to weaken that measure. Roll call votes on the amendments to HF 653 and the final bill are in this House Journal (pdf file).

More concerning, Struyk was one of only six state representatives to vote against SF 2347, the 2008 bill requiring all Iowa counties to use paper ballots and optical scanner machines. The House Journal for that day (see page 806 of this pdf file) doesn’t record any debate or proposed amendments to that bill, which passed 92 to 6. I couldn’t find any record explaining why Struyk opposed that bill.

Schultz made photo ID requirements for all voters the centerpiece of his campaign for secretary of state. I hope he won’t also try to roll back same-day registration or paper ballot requirements. Election-day registrants are already required to show photo ID and proof of address in Iowa. Anyone who claims to be worried about voter fraud should support the ban on paperless touchscreen voting machines.

UPDATE: In the comments, Bleeding Heartland user thomasjschultz says that Matt Schultz supports the paper ballot requirement. His campaign website included this statement on same-day registration:

The Legislature passed, the Governor signed into law, and the current Secretary of State supported Same-Day Voter Registration, which has created the potential for voter irregularities and fraud. As Secretary of State I will fight to reform Same-Day Voter Registration and require all ballots cast by voters registering on Election Day to be cast as Provisional Ballots. Requiring these ballots to be cast as Provisional Ballots will ensure that anyone attempting to cheat the system by fraudulently registering on Election Day will not be able to change the outcome of the vote.

Secretary of State Mauro reported in 2009 that nearly 46,000 Iowans used election-day registration in the November 2008 general election: 21,553 Iowans registered to vote for the first time on that election day, and 24,376 had previously been registered to vote in a different county. Current law already requires county auditors to follow up on election-day registrants: “If the county auditor is unable to locate a voter after sending two notices, the matter is reported to the county attorney and the Secretary of State.”

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