Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

Iowa voter inactivations enable voter fraud

April 30, 2021

One unaddressed aspect of the Iowa Secretary of State (SoS) changing the status of voters in IVoters, our state-wide voter registration & election system, is that he elevated the status of two classes of voters in the system, i.e., he created an opportunity for voter fraud to occur during the next election.

First, he raised deceased voters from dead. Prior to the No Activity Notice (NAN) process, deceased voters’ records had been “cancelled.” The NAN process changed “cancelled” voters to “inactive” voters, which would allow someone to assume a deceased voter’s identity. Did the SoS re-cancel all of the deceased voters he inactivated?

Last, the SoS changed “pending” voters to “inactive” voters, which would allow previous pending voters to walk into an early voting site or into the polls on election day, to present an ID to become “active”, and to vote … like any other voter. A “pending” voter registration applicant is a person who has filled out a voter registration form and we cannot verify they are a US citizen with either the US Social Security Administration or the Iowa Department of Transportation.

This afternoon, I emailed a public records request to Secretary Pate. I need to understand what he did or did not do to Linn County’s voter list. | Post by Joel D Miller – Linn County Auditor

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Dear Secretary Pate:

RE: Public records request related to 2021 No Activity Notices to Voters

Recently, your office mailed out No Activity Notices (NAN) to thousands of persons in the State of Iowa.  Included in those NANs were seventeen year old citizens not eligible to vote in the 2020 general election, persons whose voter registrations were “pending” in IVoters, e.g., naturalized citizens, and deceased voters, who had been “cancelled” in IVoters.

Linn County had forty-two (42) seventeen year old citizens changed from “active” to “inactive” voters in IVoters.

Linn County had 121 voter registration applicants changed from “pending” to “inactive” in IVoters.  This action, if left unchecked, will or would allow applicants who had NOT yet been verified to be US citizens, to vote in upcoming elections because, per your Legal Counsel (4/28/2021 Zoom with Iowa election officials), “inactive voters are processed exactly the same as active voters”. (CONTINUED)

More questions: Iowa declares 294,000 as ‘inactive’ voters

April 27, 2021

While the AP received answers to some questions and an acknowledgment of some facts – see https://desmoinesregister-ia-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=10a7269da … many questions remain pertaining to Linn County’s registered voters. For example:

1. Why did the Iowa Secretary of State skip inactivating 4,100 Linn County voters who did not vote in November 2020?


2. Why were pending voters inactivated?


3. Why implement inactivations without creating the required administrative rules?


4. Why make the inactivations retroactive?

5. Is the SoS going to communicate anything to the wrongly inactivated voters? Or the next of kin of deceased voters, whose status was changed to inactivated? If yes, when?

Posted by Joel D Miller – Linn County Auditor

PRESS RELEASE: Linn County Auditor’s Statement on No Activity Mailing by Secretary of State

April 23, 2021

About 23 hours ago, I issued a Notice of Technical Infraction to the Secretary of State Paul Pate. As of 4:28pm today (4/23/2021), I have not received an acknowledgement of my email from the Secretary, his chief of staff, or his legal counsel.

Between now and the time of my Notice, we have observed changes in Linn County’s voter list, which is stored in IVoters, the statewide voter registration & elections system owned and maintained by the Office of Secretary of State. We have yet to determine whether the changes are routine maintenance and/or something nefarious.

Silence leads to conspiracy theories. Transparency leads to trust. I challenge Secretary Pate to be transparent … today.

Posted by Joel D Miller – Linn County Auditor & Commissioner of Elections

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For more information, contact:

Joel Miller | Linn County Commissioner of Elections | 319-892-5333 | joel.miller

For Immediate Release:

April 23, 2021

Linn County Auditor’s Statement on No Activity Mailing by Secretary of State

LINN COUNTY, IA – August 23, 2021 – In accordance with Iowa Code §39A.6, Linn County Auditor Joel Miller has issued a Notice of Technical Infraction and Letter of Instruction to Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate.

Auditor Miller claims that the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office has incorrectly inactivated thousands of Iowa voters in a recent No Activity mailing.

Auditor Miller has identified at least three populations who were incorrectly inactivated:

· Registered voters who were 17, but not yet 18 by the November 2020 General Election day

· Pending voters

· Deceased individuals whose voting status was already cancelled – effectively sending mailers to family members that a deceased cancelled voter was now instead an inactive voter

In Linn County alone, hundreds of incorrectly inactivated voters have been identified.

Auditor Miller contends that incorrectly inactivating voters sends a chill to voters across the state. It sows distrust and uncertainty while also discouraging voters from voting.

Auditor Miller also questions whether the Secretary of State should have sent the No Activity mailer this year. Senate File 413, which was enacted in March 2021, allows the Secretary of State to send a No Activity mailer to registered voters after a General Election if they did not vote in the General Election. Generally, new laws are not retroactively implemented. The No Activity mailer should be in place for any future elections. Instead, registered voters in 2020, whether they voted or not, were inactivated by the Secretary of State’s Office.

In addition, Auditor Miller notes that the Secretary of State has not implemented administrative rules for the inactivation process nor vetted the process with any auditors, as required by law. Auditor Miller will be consulting legal counsel on this matter.

In addition to the Notice of Technical Infraction, Auditor Miller calls on Secretary Pate to immediately create a plan for notifying voters of the error and rectifying this issue.

Auditor Travis Weipert of Johnson County joins in Auditor Miller’s concerns and demands that Johnson County voters who were incorrectly inactivated be notified and re-activated. ###

Linn County Auditor issues technical infraction to Iowa Secretary of State

April 22, 2021

This afternoon, I issued a technical infraction and letter of instruction to Mr. Paul Pate, Iowa’s current Secretary of State (SoS) and the chief election official in Iowa.

Why? The SoS mailed No Activity Notices to registered voters who had not voted in the November 2020 general election, and then inactivated the voters receiving those Notices. Since the SoS did not have a duty to ask my office or other county auditors to review the list of voters to receive the No Activity Notices PRIOR to the SoS mailing the Notices, duly registered active voters in Linn County were INACTIVATED. Please read the letter to the SoS for details.

Posted by Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor & Commissioner of Elections

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From: Miller, Joel
Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2021 5:17 PM
To: Pate, Paul [SOS] <Paul.Pate@sos.iowa.gov>
Cc: Widen, Molly [SOS] <Molly.Hammer@sos.iowa.gov>; Ross, Michael [SOS] (Michael.Ross@sos.iowa.gov) <Michael.Ross@sos.iowa.gov>
Subject: Notice of Technical Infraction

Good afternoon Secretary of State Pate,

Attached you will find a notice of technical infraction regarding the mailing of No Activity Notices by your office.

If you have any questions after reviewing the attached letter, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Sincerely,

Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

Miller v Voter Registration Commission hearing on March 5th

March 5, 2021

On February 3rd, I blogged about the Court’s inaction to hold a hearing on my appeal of a decision by the Voter Registration Commission (VRC) – see Court’s inaction jeopardizing review of Iowa’s election system

On February 11th, the VRC filed a motion to dismiss my appeal for a hearing.

Today, March 5th, at 11:30am, the Court will hold a hearing on the motion to dismiss – see GoToMeeting link at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/311607541

You are invited to attend this GoToMeeting hearing. Posted by Joel D Miller – Linn County Auditor

13 – IVRC Motion to Dismiss as Moot – 2.11.21.PDF

15 – Miller Resistance to MTDismiss – 2.16.21.PDF

16 – Court Order re Dismiss Hearing – 2.17.21.PDF

Court’s inaction jeopardizing review of Iowa’s election system

February 3, 2021

On 2/1/2021, I asked James Larew, a Johnson County based attorney representing my Office for free, to find out what’s going on with my appeal of the Voter Registration Commission’s decision – see LINN COUNTY AUDITOR VS IOWA VOTER REG COMM CASE: 05771 CVCV059748 (POLK).

I filed a petition for judicial review on 2/13/2020. Judge David Matthew Porter’s last action on the case was on 5/21/2020. My appeal is still relevant.

Our statewide voter registration system (IVoters) is now 17 years old and likely vulnerable to hackers and supposedly won’t be updated until 2023 – the year after the next general election. The current Office of Secretary of State appears content to kick the can down the road for another two years.

In 2017, we discovered foreign adversaries targeted IVoters in 2016, so we spent from 2017 to 2020 hardening our elections infrastructure. Recently, we discovered that foreign adversaries hacked our supply chain, i.e., SolarWinds, which is used by governments in Iowa. Some of those same governments using SolarWinds also support elections infrastructure, which means our current elections infrastructure could be compromised now or sometime in the future, at the convenience of the hackers.

Yet, here we are with IVoters, a 17+ year old system and a Judge who has not filed one action in 8 months in this case during a time when no in-person jury trials are occurring because of the pandemic.

I’m not asking for a jury. I’m just asking for a hearing via Zoom, like the ones that were held when Trump sued county auditors last Fall. Who is cracking the whip on district court judges to ensure cases of being processed? Who should be? Posted by Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

Strict adherence to Iowa law may delay reporting of absentee results

February 2, 2021

On 2/1/2021, I received a notice of technical infraction from the Iowa Secretary of State (SoS). It arrived within about 24 hours of Laura Belin posting a story. Coincidence?

How does this technical infraction affect you? A strict adherence to Iowa Code 53.23 may result in some Iowa counties NOT reporting absentee ballot results until 10pm on general election nights. That would have a huge impact on candidates, voters, and the news media.

My official response to the technical infraction is below. As always, your comments are welcome. Posted by Joel D. Miller – Linn County Commissioner of Elections

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From: Miller, Joel
Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2021 5:05 PM
To: michael.ross@sos.iowa.gov
Cc:
Subject: Acceptance of offer to help RE: Notice of Technical Infraction

Dear Deputy Secretary of State Ross;

On 2/1/2021, I received a Notice of Technical Infraction from you.  You allege a violation of Iowa law occurred on 11/4/2020, i.e., 89 days ago, but to my knowledge, you did not conduct any investigation into the facts.  I acknowledge a Notice of Technical Infraction does not require an investigation nor does it require facts before being issued nor does it require a response from the recipient.

I DO ACCEPT YOUR OFFER to “work with” me and my “staff on training methods and best practices to prevent future violations of Iowa law.”

I have scoured the training materials and best practices provided by the Office of Secretary of State, and I have yet to find any best practices, rules, or laws on how to reconcile the public’s interest in having absentee ballot results reported at 9:01pm or shortly thereafter on a general election night, versus the reality that some voters deliver their absentee ballots to auditors’ offices at 8:59pm on general election nights.

You write, “… we would recommend that you put a procedure in place to ensure the Linn County Auditor’s Office employee responsible for closing your no contact ballot delivery system at the time polls close also immediately delivers any ballots received at that time to your ASVP Board for review and counting.”

On March 2nd, my office will be administering two special elections.  I HEREBY REQUEST that you and any number of your staff come to Linn County and observe our election night procedures; specifically, those related to our no contact drop box, to confirm the facts as to how absentee ballots deposited into the drop box are processed when the polls close.

I think a strict adherence to Iowa Code 53.23 may result in some Iowa counties NOT reporting absentee ballot results until 10pm on general election nights.  I believe that our mutual constituencies including the news media, would be outraged to learn that general election results may not be available until 10pm or until such time as all absentee ballots delivered to Auditors Offices are counted.

In the meantime, please provide me with any training materials authored by your office.

Again, I look forward to receiving your training materials, your input on our procedures to be developed, and your presence at our office on Election Night on March 2nd, 2021.  I believe you will gain an understanding of how election administration works at the local level, and I will gain an understanding of how you think it should work.

Regards,

Joel D. Miller | Linn County Auditor | 319-892-5333

Exhibit #1: Legislature making elections more complicated

February 2, 2021

During today’s Linn County Board of Supervisors meeting, Linn County’s Deputy Commissioner of Elections and I updated the Board on proposed legislation, i.e., Senate File 115, which would:

1> Reduce the number of days to request an absentee ballot from the current 10 or 11 days before an election to 15 days.

2> Require ballots to be postmarked no less than 10 days before the election rather than the current 1 day before an election.

If SF115 is signed by the Governor in its current form and goes into effect, AND a massive effort is not commenced to inform every voter, then thousands of future absentee ballots lacking a postmark 10 or more days ahead of an election may be disqualified.

MY PROPOSAL: I don’t like absentee ballots coming in after the election ends at 8pm (local elections) or 9pm (primary & general elections). Instead of creating a bunch of random, pulled out of thin air deadlines, let’s just end the election at 8pm/9pm on election night.

And once you make the decision to put a hard deadline on when the election ends, then publicize the heck out of it to ensure every voter is aware of the deadline. And allow counties to install absentee ballot drop boxes throughout the county that are staffed on election night to ensure no absentee ballots are dropped after the deadline, and all ballots are returned to be counted in the results.

Iowa’s 2020 general election wasn’t broke and doesn’t need to be fixed. Don’t make voting complicated by adding a bunch of deadlines no one will remember. #MakeVotingSimple Posted by Joel D Miller – Linn County Commissioner of Elections

Update 10:01AM | 2/3/2021 | For the 2020 general election, @lc_elections received 52,497 mailed in absentee ballots. If the proposed SF115 law had been in effect and no one knew about it, 8976 ballots would have been disqualified due to late arriving mailed in ballots.

NEWS RELEASE: Marion and Alburnett school districts holding special elections on March 2nd

February 2, 2021

SPECIAL ELECTION

Alburnett Community School District and Marion Independent School District

Absentee voting begins Monday, February 8 at Lindale Mall Food Court

LINN COUNTY, IA – February 2, 2021 – Early, absentee voting begins Monday, February 8 in Linn County for the Alburnett Community School District and the Marion Independent School District Special Elections.

Voting Early: Curbside and In-Person

The Linn County Auditor’s Office will open at the Lindale Mall Food Court located at 4444 1st Ave NE in Cedar Rapids from February 8 through March 1, 2021. All auditor services, including voting, will be available at this temporary location Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. from February 8 through March 1. Voters residing in the Alburnett Community School District or Marion Independent School District may vote early either in-person at the Lindale Mall Food Court or from their vehicle (curbside) at the temporary Lindale Mall location.

On Friday, February 19, extended hours will be available for one day from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Voting by Mail

Voters may request to have an absentee ballot mailed to them. Voters may print a request form from www.LinnCountyElections.org or they may call the Auditor’s Office at 319-892-5300 to request a form. Requests for mailed ballots must be received by Friday, February 19, 2021.

Absentee voters may return their ballot by mail. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked on or before Monday, March 1 in order to be counted.

Absentee voters may also hand-deliver their ballot to the white dropbox located in front of the Linn County Public Service Center at 935 2nd St SW. The dropbox is available 24 hours a day and is under video surveillance. Ballots returned to the dropbox must be received by Tuesday, March 2 at 8 p.m. Ballots may also be returned to Auditor’s Office staff at Lindale Mall during the voting hours listed above.

Election Day Vote Centers

Election Day is Tuesday, March 2. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Alburnett Community School District voters may vote at either Alburnett United Methodist Church, 221 S. Main St., Alburnett or King of Kings Lutheran Church, 3275 N Center Point Rd, Cedar Rapids.

Marion Independent School District voters may vote at either Marion City Hall, 1225 6th Ave, Marion or Ascension Lutheran Church, 2210 Grand Ave, Marion.

Election Portal

Go to www.LinnCountyElections.org to access all election-related information for Linn County. The following can be viewed or downloaded:

· Absentee ballot request forms

· Election Day information

· Sample ballots

· Voter registration forms

Dates & Deadlines

Due Date Event / Deadline
2/08/2021 Absentee voting begins
2/19/2021 Last day to pre-register to vote for this election
2/19/2021 Last day to request an absentee ballot to be mailed
3/1/2021 Last day to vote in-person absentee (Lindale Mall Food Court)
3/2/2021 Election Day
3/8/2021 Canvass of votes

For questions regarding this election, call the Linn County Election Services Office at (319) 892-5300, ext. 1 or email elections

Posted by Joel D. Miller – Linn County Commissioner of Elections #MakingVotingSimple and Convenient

Linn County completes successful post-election audit

November 12, 2020

Code of Iowa chapter 49.128 requires county auditors to conduct a post-election audit of our general election results. Today, an audit board comprised of Democratic and Republican members, completed an audit of precinct CR-43 – the random precinct selected by the Iowa Secretary of State. The public and news media were invited, but none attended the audit.

The audit board did not find any errors or omissions related to the audited precinct; hence, they certified the audit as complete and correct.

Unless a recount of Linn County is requested, the post-election audit is one of the last major steps we will take to close this election. Linn County Election Services still has plenty of minor administrative tasks to do for this election; then, we start preparing for our first special election in March of 2021, as well as, the city/school elections in November 2021.

There’s much more to elections than 29 days of absentee/early voting and election day. In Linn County, it’s a year-round process. Posted by Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor & Commissioner of Elections
20201112103011495.pdf


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