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Johnson County judge rules to invalidate thousands of Absentee Ballot Request forms

Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 9:46 AM CDT
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JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG) - A Johnson County judge granted a temporary injunction that will require Johnson County Auditor Travis Weipert to send out blank absentee ballot request forms as prescribed by the Iowa Secretary of State.

This comes after a September 9 hearing.

The ruling voids the prepopulated absentee ballot request forms the auditor’s office sent, requiring them to be returned.

The RNC said the Iowa Secretary of State had issued a directive for the Johnson County Auditor to send out blank absentee ballot request forms, which they said was a key election-security measure designed to ensure that the person who submits an absentee ballot request form is who he or she claims to be.

However, Weipert sent out forms prepopulated with the voter’s name, PIN, date of birth and other information. He said he did this because voters often fail to include all the information necessary to obtain their ballot, or they include illegible or inaccurate voter information.

Weipert said he believes there will be an unprecedented amount of missing or incorrect voter information for the auditor’s offices to correct, and the auditors will not have an efficient means of correcting the information in a time.

The injunction orders the auditor’s office to contact voters in writing to inform them the prepopulated absentee ballot request form should not have been sent and that he cannot act on the prepopulated forms. He must then invite the sender to submit an absentee ballot request form in the manner prescribed by the Iowa Secretary of State.

A judge also ruled for Linn County to invalidate pre-filled absentee ballot request forms on August 27.

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