- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee asked a court Wednesday to stop some county auditors in Iowa from pre-emptively filling out information on absentee ballots sent to voters — an action the GOP contends invites fraud.

The RNC and the Trump campaign, along with other GOP-aligned groups, claim auditors in Linn and Johnson counties violated state law by sending out absentee ballots with prepopulated personal data on the form, including a voter verification number.

State law requires an individual complete the application on their own, the Republican groups argued.

“The responsibility of filling out personal information on absentee ballot applications is a key safeguard to confirm the applicant’s identity and should rest squarely with the voter. The rogue county auditors must immediately stop their harmful actions that threaten the validity of and confidence in the upcoming election,” said Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the RNC.

Matthew Morgan, general counsel for President Trump’s 2020 campaign, said standing up for election safeguards is an attempt to ensure eligible voters can safely cast ballots this fall.

“Dropping thousands of ballot applications with personal information already filled out in the mail is wildly irresponsible,” Mr. Morgan said.

The complaint alleges Travis Weipert, a Democrat who is the auditor of Johnson County, vowed to mail out forms with prepopulated data that would include the voter’s name, birth date, and other sensitive information the voter is required to provide.

“Defendant made public statements to the effect that he knew that the Secretary of State had ordered him not to do so but that he planned to ignore the directive,” the lawsuit alleged.

Joel Miller, a Democrat, and auditor of Linn County was also sued under the same allegations.

Mr. Weipert did not respond to a request for comment, and Mr. Miller said he just became aware of the lawsuit today.

“On the advice of my attorney, an assistant Linn County Attorney, I have nothing to say at this time,” Mr. Miller told The Washington Times.

The Democratic Party of Iowa also did not respond to a request for comment, though it is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

The filings Wednesday are two of 40 election-related lawsuits the RNC is involved in ahead of the November election.

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