OTTUMWA — Stopping someone from voting illegally while also encouraging Iowans to get out and vote, said Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, are both features of his office.
Schultz was in town Monday speaking at a meeting of Ottumwa Rotary in the ballroom of Hotel Ottumwa. He said there's more to the office of the "SOS" than many people realize. But he acknowledged the most exciting part to many is election fraud prevention. And at least one question and answer request centered on that.
How many more voter fraud arrests can we expect to see, asked a member. Schultz said there's only so much he can say.
"It's DCI's investigation now," Schultz said, but that his understanding is, "we expect a lot more coming down the pike."
Last week, a man was convicted of voter fraud in Iowa. He was a felon who voted. After the meeting, Schultz told the Courier that the man was also a Bosnian citizen, not an American. He definitely should not have been voting, the secretary said.
"It's a problem [when voter fraud happens because] it can make a difference in a close election," he told Rotarians.
But he said there's the other side of the coin: True voters can make a difference in a close election for the candidate they choose. To demonstrate his point during a program encouraging young people to vote, Rock Iowa, Schultz and other adults preside over a vote for president at an Iowa school. The candidates are two classmates. Students get to grill the candidates on their position.
After that's all done, half the class is asked to come forward. The other half gets ballots. They are the only ones allowed to vote. Some kids get it right away; that if everyone votes, the results may be very different. Each vote counts, Schultz said.