Felon Reaches Plea for Improper Voter Registration

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By Ellen Kurt

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa felon arrested for registering to vote as part of a crackdown on alleged voter fraud has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.

Jason Rawlin pleaded guilty last week to fraudulent practice in the third-degree. Warren County prosecutors dropped a felony charge of election misconduct.

County Attorney John Criswell said Wednesday the plea agreement was justified because Rawlin didn't actually vote and so the harm was minimal. Rawlin will pay about $1,000 in fines and court costs.

Rawlin told an investigator he registered after he applied for a state identification card because he thought his voting rights had been restored.

Rawlin is the first conviction under a costly effort by Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz to find and identify potentially ineligible voters. Charges have been filed against 7 others.
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