Iowa Federal Judge Rules Against GOP Voter Suppression Attempt


Republican legislators know that they cannot win the presidential race the old-fashioned way. So what will they do? The Grand Old Party (GOP) has pulled out its old well-used bag of tricks: voter suppression, cheating, lying, inviting the Russians to help them. It gets worse.

The party has seen Donald Trump on a steroid high take credit for tanking the economy. Just hours earlier, the Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that an infusion of cash to the Americans under terrible economic stress was the only thing that will keep the country from another, perhaps greater, Great Depression. Hours later Trump rolled his tweet back in, but was it too late?

In Iowa, the Secretary of State Paul Pete was ready to put into action the Republican Legislator’s order that forced counties to halt sending out to voters’ absentee ballot applications. The problem, they said, was the personal information had already been imprinted upon them.

The Iowa Democratic Party filed a lawsuit arguing that Pate’s directive “exceeded his authority, was not enforceable, and violated the home rule powers of local officials.”

This week, Iowa Federal Judge Robert Hanson blocked the state’s secretary of state from stopping the absentee ballots from going out. Residents of the counties had already received their ballots, “tens of thousands” of them signed, and they immediately returned them, according to the AP.

Judge Hanson said that the secretary of state went way beyond his authority when he insisted the forms had to be blank when they were mailed out to voters. He told Pete to hold off enforcing his rule, because it “appeared designed to limit access to absentee voting.”

The counties had already sent our hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots upon request when the secretary of state tried to enforce the ruling. The Republican-led legislature had halted country officials from filling in missing information on the ballots:

‘Instead, they must contact voters by email, phone and mail to get them to fill in the gaps — a lengthy process that is expected to leave many requesters with incomplete forms and therefore no access to absentee ballots.’

Elections Commissioners in Linn, Johnson, and Woodbury counties refused to honor the new GOP law. They said they had authority as elected officials:

‘They sent forms to registered voters containing their names, dates of birth, addresses and voter identification numbers already filled in, saying they wanted to make voting by mail easy during the coronavirus pandemic.’

According to the Associated Press, Linn County Auditor Joel Miller indicated he county would take a “wait and see” approach as he waited for more “legal proceedings:”

‘Linn County Auditor Joel Miller said that 14,000 people in his county sent in pre-filled forms that were invalidated and have not since returned new forms. He said his county would “wait and see” pending additional legal proceedings before determining whether to mail ballots to those individuals.’

Pate said Monday the ruling “adds further confusion” for those voters and said they should still send in new blank forms to ensure their votes were counted:

‘This ruling is in direct conflict with the law and previous court rulings regarding Voter ID.’

Trump’s reelection campaign and the GOP filed lawsuits against the three counties trying to invalidate the pre-filled forms.

In his ruling Monday, Hanson said that he could not “dissolve the injunctions that are blocking the counties from processing pre-filled applications.” He did say those counties “could ask courts to lift those injunctions themselves.”

Twitter world went nuts over voter suppression. Take a look at some of our favorites below:

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