According to The Hill, the Trump campaign is suing three Iowa counties over their absentee ballot request forms, which the campaign says are in violation of state law because certain fields are pre-filled for voters.

  • The campaign’s argument, as first reported by The Associated Press, is that mail-in ballot applications in Woodbury, Johnson and Linn Counties “violate a directive from Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate (R) that stipulated the forms must be completely blank when they're sent out,” The Hill wrote.
  • In the aforementioned counties, forms are pre-filled with some information, and county officials “argue that sending blank applications could disenfranchise voters who do not know their voting pin or driver's license number.”
  • Per the AP report,

Under a new law passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature, auditors cannot use their databases to fill in blank pin numbers on the forms as they have done in past elections. Instead, they must try to contact those voters by email or mail to correct errors themselves, a time-consuming process that will not always be successful.

  • The Trump campaign’s lawsuits “argue that any absentee ballots that are cast in response to the improper mailings would be ‘subject to challenge and may not be counted in the 2020 general election,’” the AP reported, adding that “They seek court orders that invalidate returned forms and require those voters to fill out new blank ones.”
  • In the three counties, more than 70,000 people have requested ballots and thousands of applications have already been returned.
  • The AP noted that while two of the counties lean Democratic, the third leans Republican.

The Hill noted that “President Trump has a slight edge over former Vice President Joe Biden in Iowa, according to recent polls,” with a “Real Clear Politics average of recent surveys show[ing] Trump with a less than 2 percent point advantage over Biden.”

The Iowa lawsuits are just the latest move by Trump and Republicans in a series of lawsuits attempting to thwart increased mail-in voting ahead of the November election, The Hill observed, adding that “Trump has criticized mail-in voting in recent weeks, claiming without evidence that it could potentially lead to widespread fraud on Election Day.”

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