Lawyer for Republicans argues that Johnson County auditor didn’t have discretion to disobey state directive regarding absentee ballot forms
IOWA CITY — A lawyer, arguing for President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee, said Johnson County Auditor Travis Weipert didn’t have discretion to send out prefilled absentee ballot request forms for the Nov. 3 general election.
The prefilled forms — also mailed in Linn and Woodbury counties — did not follow the emergency directive sent to county auditors by Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, who is the state commissioner of elections, lawyer Alan Ostergren argued Wednesday in Johnson County District Court. .
Ostergren said Pate consulted with the 20-member Legislative Council, which approved his emergency directive to county auditors, saying they only could mail out blank absentee ballot request forms to maintain uniformity,
Pate, he said, did that after determining not every county had the financial and technical capacity to send out the prefilled forms.
The final approval of the directive by the council was