Last week, the Republican Party and the Trump campaign successfully argued in court that the forms violated a state order because voter ID numbers were included and the secretary of state had ordered all forms to be blank.
“The Iowa Democratic Party and our partners are fighting back against these voter suppression tactics,” Iowa Democratic Party chairman Mark Smith said today during an online news conference.
Kay Pence, vice president of the Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans which represents many retired trade union members, also spoke during the news conference. She said the Republicans’ lawsuit seeks to reduce the number of Iowans who vote by mail.
“I just don’t think we need to create more anxiety for voters,” she said, “especially for those of us who have voted mail for years.”
The Democratic committees that support candidates for the U.S. House and Senate are part of the lawsuit as well. Marc Elias, chair of Perkins Cole’s Political Law Group, is an attorney for Democrats on this case.
“It is absolutely outrageous that the secretary of state’s position is that voters who have done everything right, who received an absentee ballot application with information helpful to their application being pre-filled, should now face disenfranchisement in the middle of a pandemic and natural disasters,” Elias said.
The lawsuit challenges the Iowa Secretary of State’s authority to order county auditors to send blank absentee ballot request forms to voters.
“When the political actors in a state fail to protect fundamental constitutional rights like the right to vote, it is ultimately the job of the judges and the courts to step in and make sure voters are protected,” Elias said.
Auditors in Johnson, Linn and Woodbury County sent forms that included voter ID numbers. The GOP lawsuit challenging Johnson County’s mailing will be heard next week. Republicans argue the three county auditors endangered election security by including voter ID numbers on their mailings.