Judge Voids 50,000 Absentee Ballot Requests In Iowa County
According to NBC News, a judge ordered that 50,000 absentee ballot requests in an Iowa county be invalidated over portions of the forms being pre-filled, agreeing with the Trump campaign that the elections commissioner had overstepped his authority with the move.
- “Judge Ian Thornhill issued a temporary injunction ordering Linn County Auditor Joel Miller to notify voters in writing that the forms should not have been pre-filled with their information and cannot be processed,” the news outlet reported.
- Those voters will now either have to fill out new absentee ballot requests or vote on Election Day.
The ruling marks an initial victory for Trump's challenges to absentee voting procedures in three counties in Iowa, which is expected to be competitive in his race against Democratic nominee Joe Biden. They're part of an unprecedented legal battle involving dozens of lawsuits nationwide that will shape the rules of the election.
- Per the report, “ Miller said he would abide by the order, pledging to void the returned requests and send out new blank forms to voters next month.”
- The elections commissioner has “said his goal was to make it as easy as possible to vote absentee during a pandemic, as the virus spreads uncontrolled across the state.”
- "The Republican-controlled Legislature passed a new law to make such voting harder," the report noted, by blocking "auditors from using their databases to fill in voters' four-digit voting identification numbers, which few know and are routinely left blank on the forms."
- NBC News also noted that the county leans Democrat and is the second-largest in the state.
Thornhill ruled that Miller's mailing violated a “clear directive” from Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, who told county officials in July that absentee ballot request forms mailed to voters must be blank in order to ensure uniformity.