Government

Review finds 15 errors on ineligible felon voters list for 1 small Iowa county

Voting booths are seen at the precinct 32 polling place at Calvary Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 20
Voting booths are seen at the precinct 32 polling place at Calvary Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

State officials are confirming that 15 cases in one small Iowa county were mistakenly recorded as felony convictions on the list they use to identify ineligible felon voters.

The Associated Press reviewed all 359 Carroll County entries as part of an investigation into the error-riddled list, which has been blamed for causing confusion and wrongly disenfranchising eligible voters.

The AP found that 15 of the cases - or more than 4 percent - were misdemeanor convictions that did not result in the loss of voting rights. They included crimes such as drug possession, drunk driving and domestic assault.

A spokesman for the Iowa Secretary of State’s office, which administers the list, said the errors were corrected Thursday after the AP provided a list of the cases. The spokesman, Kevin Hall, said the errors originated from incorrect data provided by state or local court employees.

The AP chose Carroll County, which has a population of 20,000 people, for review because it’s representative of many of Iowa’s 99 counties.

Secretary of State Paul Pate announced last month that his staff would take steps to correct errors on the felon list before the 2020 presidential election. He said staff members have started reviewing each of its 103,000 entries.

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