Archive for the ‘Press release’ Category

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. ###

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

Press release: Iowa’s county auditors have 46 hours to count 924,533 absentee ballots

November 2, 2020

This morning, Roxanna Moritz, President of the Iowa State Association of County Auditors, issued a press release reminding county auditors that beginning at 12:01am today, we have 46 hours to count the absentee ballots we had as of this morning, i.e., 924,533 absentee ballots

Translation: Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate is going to suspend the counting of absentee ballots at 10pm on Election Night. This means that any of those 924,533 absentee ballots NOT counted by 10pm will NOT be counted.

In Linn County, we started the process of counting the absentee ballots included in the 924,533 total at 7am. We will not stop until 100% are counted. Posted by Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor & Commissioner of Elections

PR Release.docx

NEWS RELEASE: Presidential General Election Reminders

October 28, 2020

Presidential General Election Reminders

Early Voting Locations; Returning & Counting Absentee Ballots; Updated Election Day Polling Locations; Safety Precautions

LINN COUNTY, IA – October 28, 2020 – The Presidential General Election is Tuesday, November 3. Linn County Auditor’s Office reminds voters of the following information for this upcoming election.

Early Voting: Lindale Mall and 823 3rd St SW

Linn County voters have the option for in-person, early voting at two locations:

· Lindale Mall through Saturday, October 31 from 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. each day.

· 823 3rd St SW (across the street from the Linn County Public Service Center) Mondays-Saturdays, including Monday, November 2. Hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Voters must present an ID when voting in-person. Curbside voting is available at both locations.

Returning Absentee Ballots

Over 5,000 voters have not returned their mailed, absentee ballots. Voters can return their absentee ballots four different ways:

1. Mail their ballot. Ballots must be postmarked by Monday, November 2.

2. Drop their ballot in the white drop box at the Linn County Public Service Center, located at 935 2nd St SW in Cedar Rapids. Ballots must be in the drop box by 9 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3.

3. Bring their ballot and envelope to an early voting location (locations listed above).

4. Take their ballot and envelope to an Election Day polling location. Absentee ballots will be ‘spoiled,’ and a replacement ballot will be issued.

Voters can track their absentee ballots on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website.

Iowa law does not have any provisions nor mechanisms for a voter who has submitted a countable absentee ballot to replace that ballot with a new one for any reason, including that they changed their mind about which candidate they prefer in a race. While there are a small number of states that have such provisions, there would need to be legislation to change that in Iowa.

Counting Absentee Ballots

The Linn County Absentee and Special Voters Precinct Board (ASVP Board) will open absentee ballot envelopes on Saturday, October 31 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Linn County Public Service Center, as allowed by the Iowa Legislative Council. No ballots will be counted at that time.

Starting Monday, November 2, the ASVP Board will reconvene to continue opening absentee envelopes and begin counting ballots. The Board will continue counting absentee ballots through the evening and all day Tuesday, November 3.

The ASVP Board is a bi-partisan citizen group of Democrats and Republicans. The ASVP Board work must be done with bi-partisan pairs. For example, Democrat and Republican pairs open ballots together. Democrat and Republican pairs or groups also run the ballots through the ballot scanning machines. All ballots are kept locked and sealed throughout the ballot counting process.

The Republican Party and the Democratic Party are each allowed to send five poll watchers to view this process.

The number of returned absentee ballots is already very high, so the public is advised that full election results may be delayed until all absentee ballots received by the deadline are counted.

Updated Election Day Polling Places

On Election Day, November 3, voters will need to vote at their general election poll location. Due to COVID-19 and the derecho, many polling places have changed. The Auditor’s Office mailed a notice of updated polling places to all registered households in mid-October. To verify polling places, voters may enter their address into https://linncountyelections.org/lookup/.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Curbside voting is available at each polling location on Election Day. A majority of precinct election officials at each polling place are balanced between registered Democrats and Republicans.

Election Day Safety Precautions

The Linn County Auditor’s Office will use a number of health and security precautions on Election Day to safeguard voters and election workers, including:

· All election workers will be required to wear masks.

· All voters will be offered a free mask.

· A designated cleaning person will sanitize voting surfaces throughout the day.

· Disposable pens will be used.

· Plastic dividers will separate voting areas.

· 6-foot markers will be on the floor for social distancing.

· Hand sanitizer will be available for all voters.

To ensure safety, Linn County Sheriff’s deputies will be providing a presence at all polling locations throughout the day.

Questions regarding voter registration or absentee voting can be answered by visiting elections or calling 319-892-5300, option 1.

A calendar with the Presidential General Election deadlines is also available on Linn County’s website. Posted by Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor & Commissioner of Elections

NEWS RELEASE: Linn County Auditor Joel D. Miller Concerned by Lack of Young People Voting

October 9, 2020

LINN COUNTY, IA – October 9, 2020 – Linn County Auditor Joel D. Miller’s office has noticed a disturbing trend amongst early voters – young voters are not responding.

For example, of the first 5,580 ballots returned by mail or early in-person voting, only 578 of those ballots came from voters between 18-34 years of age.

Examples such as this have Auditor Miller concerned young people may not be voting or registering to vote. Typically, presidential election years show an increase in voter registrations. However, due to COVID-19, many door to door efforts to register people have not occurred.

The deadline for early voter registration is October 24. Voters may register at the Iowa DOT website https://mymvd.iowadot.gov/Account/Login or with a paper form from the Auditor’s Office. After registering, voters will just need to provide a valid state ID or Voter ID card when voting at the polls.

If voters miss the October 24 deadline, they can still register leading up to and on election day by providing a valid form of ID and proof of residency. Young voters may have trouble at the polling places on election day when they cannot produce the correct documentation to vote. Acceptable forms of documentation can be found on the Secretary of State’s website https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/voterinformation/voterIDfaq.html#2.

The Auditor’s Office does not record nor track racial demographics.

Visit elections or calling 319-892-5300, option 1. Posted by Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor & Commissioner of Elections

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 ###

Supervisor Oleson not running for re-election

August 3, 2020

It’s official. Linn County Supervisor Brent Oleson will not be running for re-election in the upcoming general election – see link below. Posted by Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

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Joint statement from Linn & Johnson County Auditors regarding letter from RNC

July 27, 2020

Joint statement from Linn and Johnson County Auditors regarding letter from Republican National Committee (RNC)

Iowans have a hard-earned time-tested tradition of holding fair and free elections, uncontaminated by the efforts of outside pressure groups. That unique tradition is a part of what we sometimes call the “Iowa Way.”  Consistent with that tradition, our offices are making every effort to give active voters in Linn and Johnson Counties all reasonable options to assure that every vote counts and can be cast in the safest ways possible.

An important part of those safe-voting efforts has been to send, in sealed envelopes to their last known addresses, to every active voter—regardless of party affiliation—absentee ballot request forms with correct voter identification information included on the forms, so that they can be returned to our offices, where we serve as the County Commissioners of Elections, so that absentee ballots can be issued to those voters starting on October 5th.

It is extremely concerning that the Republican National Committee is placing pressure on Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate to impede our efforts to make voting easier and safer for Iowans during a pandemic.  This is as wrong as it is unprecedented.  Secretary Pate would be wise to ignore this pressure to contaminate Iowa’s storied fair election processes.  Let him perform his job, too, consistent with the Iowa Way, unsullied by outside influences.   Signed (and posted) by Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor and Travis Weipert – Johnson County Auditor

 

JOB POSTING: LCSO accepting applications for deputy sheriff

July 9, 2020

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office is accepting online applications for the position of Deputy Sheriff. If you know someone who is interested in law enforcement, please encourage them to apply. Applications must be submitted by 5:00 pm on Friday, August 7th.

Applicants will be required to attend physical fitness and written exam testing, which will be on Saturday, August 22nd. The physical fitness exam will be at 8:00 a.m. at Xavier High School and the written exam will be at 12:00 p.m. at the Sheriff’s Office.

Thanks!

Brian D. Gardner
Sheriff
LINN COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

A Credible Leadership Organization310 2nd Ave. SW | Cedar Rapids, IA 52404Ph: 319-892-6100 | Fax: 319-892-6276LinnCounty.org | @LinnIASheriff

Deputy Recruitment Poster-Summer 2020.pdf

NEWS RELEASE: Primary Election: Absentee Ballots and Early, In-Person Voting

April 24, 2020

For more information, contact:

Rebecca Stonawski

Deputy Commissioner of Elections

319-892-5300, ext. 1

elections

Primary Election: Absentee Ballots and Early, In-Person Voting

County Offices to Appear on the 2020 Primary Election Ballot

LINN COUNTY, IA – April 23, 2020 – The Linn County Auditor’s Office has received over 10,000 absentee request forms for the June 2 Primary. This far surpasses recent primary elections.

In the 2018 Primary, 1,520 absentee ballots were requested. In the 2016 Primary, 2,075 absentee ballots were requested.

The Auditor’s Office will be mailing the first 5,274 absentee ballots today, Thursday, April 23. Another 5,000 are expected by the end of next week.

Auditor Joel Miller states, “We appreciate the community’s responsible choice to vote from home. We encourage voters to request an absentee ballot, and we appreciate their patience as we process these requests.”

In-person, absentee voting will also be available at a drive-through location near the Linn County Public Service Center at 823 3rd St SW in Cedar Rapids. Voters will be processed curbside. This early voting option will be available May 4-June 1, 2020 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and on Saturday, May 30.

Due to COVID-19, election day polling locations will be reduced to 19 sites. In mid-May, the Linn County Auditor’s Office will send a postcard mailer to all registered households in Linn County indicating their temporary, combined voting locations. Voters may also view their temporary voting location by entering their address at: www.linncountyelections.org/lookup

Additional information may be found at LinnCounty.org/Vote.

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 Auditor & Commissioner of Elections


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