Rick Bertrand

A former Republican lawmaker who successfully sued to get more polling locations opened in the Sioux City area for June’s Primary is calling on the Woodbury County Auditor to resign.

Former State Senator Rick Bertrand of Sioux City is accusing Democrat Pat Gill, the Woodbury County Auditor, of overstepping his authority by sending absentee ballot request forms to voters for the November election that included voter ID numbers.

“Let’s make really no qualms about this. What he did was not a mistake,” Bertrand said. “It was an attempt to cheat.”

On Friday evening, a judge ruled in favor of Republicans and the Trump campaign and nullified tens of thousands of absentee ballot request forms Gill sent to Woodbury County voters. Bertrand said Gill and county auditors in Johnson and Linn Counties who sent those ballot request forms with voter ID numbers filled in were targeting a specific population.

“They have large, large bases on public housing. People don’t understand when you talk about voter fraud and this started in 2008 with Mr. Gill when it comes to public housing. This is about harvesting votes,” Bertrand said. “When I was in the legislature we shrank the early absentee voting from 40 days to 29. Everybody was like: ‘Oh, you’re suppressing votes.’ No, what you’re trying to do is you’re trying to shut down the harvest.”

Bertrand is accusing Gill and other Democrats of manipulating public housing residents.

“They organize them and they basically spoon feed them on how to vote or they’re going to lose their housing,” Bertrand said.

Gill declined to comment on Bertrand’s statements.

(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)