Iowa Senate GOP leader Jack Whitver faces challenge to his voter registration

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
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Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver is facing a challenge to his voter registration from a resident who says Whitver doesn't live at the address where he is registered to vote.

Whitver, a Republican, was reelected to Iowa Senate District 23 earlier this month. The district includes Grimes and parts of rural Polk and Dallas counties.

Grimes resident Ann Gale has filed a challenge against Whitver's voter registration alleging that Whitver still lives in Ankeny with his wife and children, and not in Grimes, as he claims on his voter registration.

“This challenge is a frivolous attempt by Democrats to try to overturn an election," Whitver's spokesperson, Caleb Hunter, said in a statement. "While Democrat campaigns tried to make this an issue during the campaign, the voters of Senate District 23 rejected it."



Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald, a Democrat, will hold a hearing Nov. 30 on the challenge at the Polk County Election Office.

Under Iowa law, county auditors are tasked with deciding challenges to a voter's registration. At the hearing, Fitzgerald will hear evidence and can either choose to reject the challenge or cancel the voter's registration. Any decision Fitzgerald makes may be appealed to an Iowa district court judge, whose decision would be final.



The challenge to Whitver includes an affidavit from a Democratic volunteer who was door-knocking for the campaign of Democratic Senate candidate Todd Brady on Oct. 9. The volunteer says she knocked on the door of Whitver's Ankeny home and spoke to Whitver's wife, who said her family still lived at the Ankeny address.

"Merely owning an apartment in SD23 is not sufficient to meet the requirements of Iowa Code when Mr. Whitver has continued to actually live at his Ankeny house," Gale writes in her challenge.

Whitver faced questions about his residency before the Nov. 8 election after a KCRG-TV news report said he did not pay water at the Grimes residence where Whitver is registered to vote.

After Iowa's redistricting process concluded late last year, Whitver declared he intended to move from his home in Ankeny and seek reelection in Senate District 23.

The Iowa Constitution requires state senators and representatives to live in their districts for at least 60 days before the election.

Whitver faced a challenge to his residency in March, but it was dismissed because Whitver was not required to be living in the new district at that time. Whitver subsequently registered to vote at the Grimes address.



Polk County Assessor records show Whitver still owns a home in Ankeny, as well as the Grimes condominium where he is registered to vote.

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Ross Wilburn said in a statement that "Jack Whitver should follow the rules like the rest of us."

"This is very simple. You have to live in the district that you’re running to represent. This is not about politics, it's about following the law," Wilburn said. "No one is above the law in Iowa and it’s disgraceful to cheat the system just to hold on to power."


 
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StormHawk42

HR Legend
Nov 3, 2009
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It’s sleazy and it happens in politics. While I personally think Whitver is in the wrong, the legal case is pretty flimsy and I sincerely doubt anything happens.
 

mthawkeyes

HR Heisman
Mar 22, 2007
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Fourmile Creek
I like Whitver's idea. This could be an easy way to get around gerrymandering. Anyone packed into a gerrymandered district could just pay "rent" of $1 per month at a "residence" in a different district. They could then register and cast their vote in the new district of their choice.
 

B1GDeal

HR Heisman
Jan 21, 2005
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I like Whitver's idea. This could be an easy way to get around gerrymandering. Anyone packed into a gerrymandered district could just pay "rent" of $1 per month at a "residence" in a different district. They could then register and cast their vote in the new district of their choice.
If they don’t do something this is the sort of stuff you’ll see start happening.
 

joelbc1

HR King
Gold Member
Sep 5, 2007
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you can’t always get what you want!
I like Whitver's idea. This could be an easy way to get around gerrymandering. Anyone packed into a gerrymandered district could just pay "rent" of $1 per month at a "residence" in a different district. They could then register and cast their vote in the new district of their choice.
A new "Iowa Value" state Republicans can get a lot of mileage out of!
Can you imagine the outcry if Culver had done this?