Officials are sending absentee ballot applications to registered voters in the Hawkeye State, Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate (R) affirmed on Friday.
“Iowans will begin receiving absentee ballot request forms from my office this weekend,” Pate announced. “You can vote from home, in-person at your county auditor’s office or at the polls on Election Day. I want every eligible Iowan to participate and to be safe while voting”:
Iowans will begin receiving absentee ballot request forms from my office this weekend. You can vote from home, in-person at your county auditor’s office or at the polls on Election Day. I want every eligible Iowan to participate and to be safe while voting. #BeAVoter #VoteSafeIA pic.twitter.com/lxFxMB7EAr
— Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate (@IowaSOS) September 4, 2020
Similarly, the secretary of state’s office sent out ballot applications statewide ahead of the June primary, which ultimately saw a record-high turnout:
We have surpassed the all-time turnout record for a June primary, with more than 487,000 ballots cast & more still coming in. The previous high in Iowa was 449,490 in 1994. My hats off to Iowa voters, poll workers and county auditors. Awesome job! #BeAVoter pic.twitter.com/kwC1ayV35V
— Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate (@IowaSOS) June 3, 2020
The final tally topped 530,000.
The Trump campaign sued three Iowa counties in August over absentee ballots which they say were “pre-filled with information.”
As Breitbart News reported:
The Trump campaign has launched lawsuits against Johnson, Linn, and most recently, Woodbury County over the mailing of absentee ballot request forms featuring pre-filled information, including “names, dates of birth and a voting pin number that few people know,” according to the Associated Press (AP).
In March, Pate announced that absentee ballot request forms would be mailed out to every active registered voter in the state ahead of the state’s June 2 primary. Similarly, voters “just have to review, sign and return the forms to get ballots mailed to them beginning Oct. 5,” for the upcoming general election.The issue, though, is the pre-filled information. The campaign contends that it violates Pate’s insistence that blank ballot forms be sent to voters to “ensure uniformity statewide,” according to the AP.
One state judge sided with Trump and Republicans, effectively invalidating over 50,000 absentee ballot applications.
“It is implausible to conclude that near total completion of an absentee ballot application by the auditor is authorized under Iowa law where the legislature has specifically forbidden government officials from partially completing the same document,” Judge Ian Thornhill wrote in the ruling. “Not every county can afford the prepopulated request forms,” the judge added.
“This ruling upholds a key voter protection mechanism and will help to ensure Iowa’s elections are free, fair and transparent,” Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said of the ruling.
In July, Pate announced that Republicans had edged out Democrats in active voter registrations statewide:
Here are Iowa's new statewide active voter registration totals:
No Party: 627,444
And here's the breakdown by congressional district: #BeAVoter pic.twitter.com/OKQuro6PPv
— Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate (@IowaSOS) July 1, 2020
Trump secured an Iowa victory in the 2016 election by over nine percentage points.