Auditors: Iowa Secretary of State Should Be Ready To Repay Voter Fraud Funds

Secretary of State candidate Matt Schultz speaks at the 2010 Linn County Republican Caucus at Washington High School in Cedar Rapids on Saturday January 23, 2010. (Stephen Mally/Freelance)

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By Richard Pratt

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State auditors say Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz should be prepared to repay federal funds he used to investigate voter fraud in the event the federal government says it wasn't a proper use.

Schultz has agreed to pay the Iowa Division of Criminal investigation up to $280,000 over two years to investigate voter fraud. He's using money from the Help America Vote Act, a federal program set up to improve elections.

Iowa Sen. Tom Courtney asked in October for an audit claiming Schultz is improperly using the money for investigations.

State auditors said in a report issued Thursday the federal law is unclear on the issue but Schultz should be prepared to repay if asked.

The understaffed federal Election Assistance Commission hasn't yet conducted a review of Schultz's spending.

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