Polk County Auditor rejects challenge to Iowa Sen. Whitver’s voter registration

Iowa State Senator Jack Whitver will keep his seat in the State Senate.
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 1:10 PM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - The Polk County Auditor has rejected a challenge to Sen. Jack Whitver’s (R-Grimes) voter registration.

The decision comes after a hearing over the claim made by a registered voter that Whitver doesn’t live in his State Senate District.

Whitver, who was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2011 and became Senate Majority Leader in March 2018, won reelection in the midterm elections last month.

In the findings, Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald concluded Whitver was able to submit evidence that he had moved to, and owns a home in Grimes in September 2022, where he pays utility bills and has received mail. He also signed an affidavit declaring his intent to remain at the residence a definite, or indefinite or indeterminable length of time.

Whitver released the following statement regarding the decision:

“Auditor Fitzgerald made the correct decision today to uphold the clear language of the law. Senator Whitver appreciates his decision to set partisanship aside and follow the law. Now, two different Democrat-controlled hearings have determined Senator Whitver’s residency and voter registration are legal.

The evidence is clear and unmistakable. Senator Whitver legally resides in a property he owns with multiple utility bills and other documents showing residence and occupancy. He established residence in Grimes more than sixty days before the general election as required by the Iowa Constitution.

In addition to his currently established residence in Grimes, Senator Whitver and his wife signed a contract last summer to purchase a lot near Polk City within the boundaries of Senate District 23. The plat was just recently finalized in mid-November and they expect to close on that lot before the end of 2022. Senator Whitver continues to maintain the residency requirements of Iowa law.

The individuals pursuing this challenge are advocating for a dangerous precedent. Canceling a voter registration with such an overwhelming amount of supporting evidence would have a chilling effect on voter registration, voter participation, and public engagement in the electoral process. These Democrat activists should think long and hard about continuing to pursue this anti-democracy challenge, the dangerous precedent it could set, the potential unintended consequences, and the chilling effect it may have on voter participation.

Senator Whitver looks forward to the start of the 2023 legislative session.”