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Iowa judge voids absentee ballot requests in Johnson County

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IOWA CITY, Iowa -- An Iowa judge has voided absentee ballot requests in Johnson County, where the county auditor had mailed 92,000 of the forms to voters with personal information already filled in.

On September 9, Judge Ian Thornhill heard arguments in the lawsuit to invalidate thousands of absentee ballot request forms sent out by county auditor Travis Weipert.

It's the third county in Iowa to have the ballot request forms voided after the campaign of President Donald Trump and state and national Republican Party groups challenged the county election officials.

Thornhill sided with the Trump campaign in the Johnson County case on Saturday.

He earlier ruled similarly in a Linn County case, and Judge Patrick Tott also found in favor of the Republicans in a Woodbury County case.

Those rulings voided about 64,000 requests for absentee ballots.

Like election officials in Linn and Woodbury Counties, Weipert's office pre-filled the forms with voters' information, including their name, address, birth date, and Voter ID number.

"Auditor Weipert decided to do something somewhat unusual in unusual times," an attorney for him argued on Sept. 9. "Auditor Weipeert acted lawfully and reasonably within the scope of the law by sending out absentee ballot request with some information pre-populated on those forms."

Anyone in Johnson County who sent in a pre-filled absentee ballot request form and still wishes to vote by mail in November must send a new request form.

You can find information on absentee voting in Johnson County here.

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate has sent blank absentee ballot request forms to all registered voters in the state.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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