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Group claiming to ‘quietly’ help write Iowa election law faces ethics complaint

DES MOINES — The top Democrat in the Iowa House has filed an ethics complaint against a conservative group that has claimed credit for writing portions of Iowa’s new election law.

Heritage Action’s executive director claimed in a video first published by Mother Jones that Heritage Action had “worked quietly” with Iowa legislators and helped draft the bill. The complaint accuses her and another person from the Heritage Foundation of failing to register as lobbyists, which would be a violation of House Rules. The Heritage Foundation’s election reform manager told The Des Moines Register he had “no contact” with members of the state legislature and he called the ethics complaint “frivolous.”

The two Republican legislators who guided election changes through the Iowa House and Senate have told several media outlets Heritage Action and the Heritage Foundation had no role in writing the law.

As you may recall, Republican Governor Kim Reynolds approved the election law changes in March. The early voting period in Iowa is now nine days shorter and county auditors may be charged with a felony if they fail to follow election-related orders from the Iowa Secretary of State.

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