CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A judge ordered an Iowa county Thursday to invalidate 50,000 requests for absentee ballots, agreeing with President Donald Trump’s campaign that its elections commissioner overstepped his authority by pre-filling them with voters’ personal information.
Judge Ian Thornhill issued a temporary injunction ordering Linn County Auditor Joel Miller to notify voters in writing that the forms should not have been pre-filled with their information and cannot be processed. Instead, they’ll have to either fill out new requests for absentee ballots or vote on Election Day.
The ruling marks an early victory for Trump’s challenges to absentee voting procedures in three counties in Iowa, which is expected to be competitive in his race against Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
At issue was Miller’s decision to send absentee ballot request forms to 140,000 voters in July that were already filled with their personal information, including names, dates of birth and, most significantly, voter identification numbers.