The Iowa Supreme Court has reversed a district court ruling — and U.S. Senate candidate Abby Finkenauer’s name will be listed on the June Primary ballot.
The Iowa Supreme Court has rejected the challenge two Republicans filed to three signatures on Finkenauer’s nominating petitions. The proper date was not listed on the signature lines. If the Supreme Court had ruled the three signatures were invalid, Finkenauer would not have had enough signatures to qualify for the Primary ballot.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court said just last year the legislature passed a law outlining the specific reasons for rejecting signatures on nominating petitions, but that law did not address missing or incorrect dates on the subject line.
Iowa election officials must mail absentee ballots to overseas voters by April 23. The secretary of state’s office indicated Monday at 5 p.m. was the deadline for printing the ballots. If the Supreme Court’s decision had been delayed, the district court judge’s ruling would have prevented Finkenauer’s name from being listed on ballots.
The Iowa Supreme Court justices just heard arguments from attorneys representing the two sides in this case on Wednesday.
Finkenauer issued a written statement, saying today’s unanimous decision from the Iowa Supreme Court shows she “met every requirement” to be on the Democratic Primary ballot. Finkenauer called the decision a victory over an attack “orchestrated by Washington Republicans and allies of Senator Grassley.” Finkenauer is one of three Democrats vying for a spot on the General Election ballot to challenge Grassley’s bid for reelection.
Finkenauer said the “Washington elite” tried to “undermine the democratic process to save Grassley from having to face (her)” in November.
Alan Ostergren, the attorney who represented Republicans challenging three signatures on Finkenauer’s nominating petition, said in a statement posted on Twitter that the only reason the issues were litigated is because Finkenauer barely turned in enough signatures. Ostergren said the Iowa legislature needs to pass a law making it clear what must be on a nominating petition and “what the consequences are for failing to have that information present.”
The communications director for Grassley’s campaign says Finkenauer “thumbed her nose” at Iowa election law and has never admitted fault.
(This post was updated at 1:45 p.m. and at 2:05 p.m. with additional information.)