Schmidt, with the support of Secretary of State-elect Scott Schwab, announced proposed legislation to repeal the secretary of state’s prosecution authority but leave authority with the attorney general and with local county and district attorneys.
“With the change in leadership in the secretary of state’s office, particularly since the new secretary will not be an attorney, it appears the time is right for a more traditional approach to enforcing the state’s criminal laws against voter fraud,” Schmidt said. “The secretary of state would remain responsible for detecting cases of potential fraud and referring them for criminal investigation and, if appropriate, prosecution by the attorney general or local prosecutors.”
The attorney general’s office now has a Fraud and Abuse Litigation Division, created in 2016, that has capacity to handle the relatively small number of voter fraud prosecutions.
Schwab said he supports Schmidt’s recommendation that the authority to prosecute criminal cases be vested with the attorney general, not with the secretary of state.