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Trump campaign, others sue Woodbury County auditor over absentee mailings

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WOODBURY COUNTY, Iowa (KTIV) -- President Donald Trump's reelection campaign and several others are suing Woodbury County's top election official.

The lawsuit is against Auditor Patrick Gill and seeks to invalidate absentee ballot forms sent out to county residents.

The lawsuit claims Gill sent out absentee ballot request forms to all active voters in the county with the voter's name, PIN, date of birth and other information already filled in. This information is typically provided by the voter when they fill out the form.

Back on July 17, Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate issued an emergency election directive to carry out a statewide mailing of absentee ballot request forms for the 2020 general election. In the directive, it is stated the absentee ballots "shall be blank except for the election date and type."

The lawsuit says the ballots sent out to Woodbury County residents contradict the Pate's order by filling in the voter's personal information before it reaches them.

It goes on to say because the ballots were sent out with the required security information already filled in, there is no assurance the absentee ballots were actually sent by a registered voter.

In the lawsuit, President Trump's reelection campaign as well as the National Republic Senatorial Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Republican Party of Iowa are requesting the following:

  • The Woodbury County auditor shall contact those who retrieved the absentee ballot request and inform them they should not have received that prepopulated ballot.
  • Inform those who have sent their prepopulated ballots back to the Woodbury County auditor's office that those forms cannot be used.
  • Encourage those who sent in their forms already to submit an absentee ballot request prescribed by the Secretary of State.
  • Any voters registered between now and the election should be mailed blank requests instead.

KTIV reached out to Woodbury County Auditor Pat Gill. He said he cannot provide a comment at this time.

The Trump campaign and GOP groups filed identical lawsuits last week against elections officials in Linn and Johnson counties.

To read the entire lawsuit documentation, click here.

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Dean Welte

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