Archive for the ‘Litigation’ Category

LULAC challenges new election law

March 9, 2021

Yesterday, the Governor signed new election legislation into law. Today, LULAC challenged the new law. I’m mentioned in the lawsuit – see section 30.

This lawsuit is not likely to be the only challenge to the new law. I predict others will join LULAC and/or file separate actions. Posted by Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

LULAC-v.-Pate-Iowa-Voter-Suppression-Petition-2021.pdf

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

FOIA: Colin C. Smith – Smith Law Office LLC – West Des Moines, IA

October 30, 2020

After I received a FOIA from The Patriots Foundation AND a demand letter from the SoS legal counsel yesterday, I started wondering if they were related to a earlier FOIA from Colin Smith. What do you think?

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

Open Records Request to Linn County Auditor – 9.17.20 – FINAL.pdf

Demand Letter: Iowa Secretary of State

October 29, 2020

The last time I complied with a demand letter from the Iowa Secretary of State, the information I provided appeared in subsequent legal briefs filed in the Trump Campaign versus Joel Miller hearing (Case #06571EQCV095986). I’m guessing someone is getting ready to file another lawsuit. Why? Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor & Commissioner of Elections

From: Widen, Molly [SOS] <Molly.Hammer@sos.iowa.gov>
Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2020 2:05 PM
To: Miller, Joel <joel.miller@linncounty-ia.gov>
Cc: Ston…
Subject: Iowa Code §47.1(6) Demand for Documents

Good Afternoon Auditor Miller,

You are receiving this email because there was litigation in your county regarding the sending of absentee ballot requests pre-filled with voters’ information by your office. Pursuant to Iowa Code §47.1(6), please provide the following records:

  1. The voter ID, name and address of every voter that was sent a notice by your office as required by the Temporary Restraining Order in place in your county
  2. The voter ID, name and address of every voter who returned an absentee ballot request form pre-filled with their information by your office

We ask that you provide these records in an expeditious manner, but no later than November 6, 2020. It is our office’s understanding that you have created and are maintaining an Excel spreadsheet with the requested information. Providing a copy of the spreadsheet would fulfill the requirement.

Once you have compiled the requested records, please email be so I can provide you with details on how to upload the records to an sFTP.

Sincerely,

Molly M. Widen
Legal Counsel
Office of Iowa Secretary of State Paul D. Pate
Office: (515) 281-5864

Mobile: (515) 210-4634

Email: molly.widen
SERVICE · PARTICIPATION · INTEGRITY
sos.iowa.gov

FOIA: Craig Robinson – The Patriots Foundation – Urbandale, IA

October 29, 2020

The last time I received a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request (also known as an open records request in Iowa) or a demand letter from the Iowa Secretary of State, I was sued by the Trump Campaign and others. Today, I received a FOIA from The Patriots Foundation AND a demand letter from the SoS legal counsel.

The general election is less than five days away. What’s this all about? Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor & Commissioner of Elections

From: Craig Robinson <craig@theiowarepublican.com>
Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2020 12:05 PM
To: Miller, Joel <joel.miller@linncounty-ia.gov>
Subject: FOIA Request

Auditor Miller,

Please see the attached FOIA request.

Thanks

Craig Robinson

Linn County FOIA Request.pdf

Iowa Supreme Court denies Linn Auditor’s and Teig’s appeals

September 17, 2020

Justice denied.

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

Appeal020 Order Denying Application 091620.pdf

Pate’s consumer fraud complaint against Miller resolved

September 11, 2020

Today, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller (no relation) issued a reply to Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate’s allegation that I violated Iowa’s Consumer Fraud Act. AG Miller will not be proceeding with an investigation per the reasons included in the letter.

I do admit that I am guilty of trying to make voting easier while maintaining the integrity of system. I am not guilty of anything more. Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor & Commissioner of Elections

Pate letter 9.11.2020 fnl.pdf

AG Miller Letter 8 25 20.pdf

Gookin analysis 8 25 20.pdf

NEWS RELEASE: Action steps following prefilled absentee mailer decision

August 27, 2020

Per my previous post, i.e., Thornhill grants temporary injunction, here is the follow up news release. If you have questions, concerns, or comments, please send them to Auditor Miller.  I will be monitoring LiveChat from time to time this evening at https://direct.lc.chat/11882391/ , which is another way to reach me.

Unfortunately, the County’s phone system is still out of service due to the Derecho and I will not be granting any on camera interviews until tomorrow afternoon. Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

For Immediate Release

August 27, 2020

Action Steps Following Absentee Mailer Decision

LINN COUNTY, IA – August 27, 2020 – The Linn County Auditor’s Office acknowledges the August 27, 2020 court decision involving the Republican National Committee et al vs. Joel Miller.

Absentee Ballot Request Forms

In accordance with the decision, the Linn County Auditor’s Office will be voiding each Linn County absentee request form which was prefilled with voter information. Absentee request forms from other organizations will continue to be considered valid, unless the application lacked any required information. As before, the Auditor’s Office will notify voters of incomplete applications.

The Linn County Auditor’s Office will mail a new absentee ballot request form and return envelope to each impacted voter in mid-September. In addition, the Secretary of State will be sending separate absentee request forms to all voters in the next few weeks. Voters may also access a new request form at LinnCounty.org/Vote.

Voters only need to submit one request form. However, voters should rest assured that even if they submit multiple requests, they will only receive one ballot. The Auditor’s Office keeps track of every submitted request, but it only allows one ballot per person. That is, one voter = one ballot.

In accordance with state law, the Auditor’s Office will mail ballots starting Monday, October 5. Voters have until 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 24 to submit absentee request forms.

Voting Options

Voters may choose to vote using the following voting options:

Election Day Voting

Election day polling places will be open. Note that due to COVID-19 and the derecho storm, many polling locations will change. The Linn County Auditor’s Office will be publishing the November 3, 2020 polling places within the next few days. Each registered voter household will receive a postcard indicating their updated polling location in early October.

In-person Early Voting

The Linn County Auditor’s Office will offer early, in-person voting opportunities at Lindale Mall and at 823 3rd St SW in Cedar Rapids across from the Linn County Public Service Center. Early voting will begin October 5. Exact times will be distributed to the media in the next week.

Mailing Absentee Ballots

Absentee voters may return their ballot by mail. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked on or before Monday, November 2, 2020 in order to be counted.

Drop Boxes

Drop boxes are in place as an alternative to mailing absentee ballots. The Linn County Auditor’s Office has four secure drop boxes for voters to deposit their absentee ballot request forms and ballots. These drop boxes are on 24/7 video security and contents are collected by a bi-partisan Republican and Democrat team each weekday. The drop boxes are located at:

o Linn County Public Service Center, 935 2nd St. SW, Cedar Rapids

o Marion Hy-Vee, 3600 Business Highway 151, Marion

o Edgewood Hy-Vee, 5050 Edgewood Rd NE, Cedar Rapids

o Johnson Avenue Hy-Vee, 1843 Johnson Ave NW, Cedar Rapids

The drop boxes will be open until 9 p.m. on election day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

Auditor Miller is continuing to consult with legal counsel regarding his options.

The Auditor’s Office acknowledges the confusion and concerns that voters may have. Questions regarding absentee voting may be answered by visiting elections. or calling 319-892-5300, option 1. Phone service may be temporarily unavailable. As of Thursday, August 27, the Linn County Auditor’s Office phone is not working due to the impact of the derecho storm. As a reminder, Linn County offices are open by appointment only due to COVID-19. To schedule an appointment with the Auditor’s Office, call the number above or email elections ###

Thornhill grants temporary injunction

August 27, 2020

Judge Thornhill granted a temporary injunction in RNC v Miller. Press release from the Office of Linn County Auditor coming soon. Joel D Miller – Linn County Auditor

Thornhill Order Granting Injunction.PDF


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