Lawsuit challenges Paul Pate's limits on ballot drop boxes

Two groups charge in a lawsuit filed this week that Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate exceeded his authority and violated the Iowa Constitution by restricting the placement of drop boxes for absentee ballots in guidance issued this month.

The League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa (LULAC) and Majority Forward argued that Pate infringed on the “home rule” authority of Iowa counties as well as on individuals’ fundamental constitutional right to vote.

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What Kanye West's candidacy says about Iowa's process and Iowa Republicans

When Iowans begin voting on October 5, they will see nine tickets for president and vice president at the top of the ballot.

The most controversial campaign may be that of Kanye West, widely seen as a stalking horse for President Donald Trump and a gravy train for Republican campaign consultants. He has been knocked off the ballot in some states but survived two objections to his candidacy in Iowa last week.

West’s inclusion reflects well on Iowa’s ballot access policies but poorly on the Republican operatives who got his name in front of voters.

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Conflict resolved over Iowa absentee ballot drop boxes

The Iowa Secretary of State’s office has confirmed in writing what Secretary of State Paul Pate said last week: county auditors may place secure drop boxes outside government buildings, to make it easier for voters to hand-deliver absentee ballots.

Linn County Auditor Joel Miller has opted not to fight the state’s interpretation and will remove three boxes his office had set up near grocery stores in the Cedar Rapids area.

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Need an Iowa absentee ballot? Here's how to request one

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate has sent his statewide mailing of absentee ballot request forms to active registered voters, his office announced on September 4. “The forms include pre-paid, first class mail postage and an envelope to return the request form to the voter’s county auditor,” the news release clarified.

The secretary of state’s mailing will look like this on one side:


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Iowa secretary of state backpedals on ballot drop box crackdown

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate will not seek to prevent county auditors from setting up drop boxes outside their offices for voters to hand-deliver absentee ballots, he announced on Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program on August 28.

The same day, state elections director Heidi Burhans told county auditors in writing that “a no-contact delivery system” for absentee ballots will be allowed “at your office or in the immediate outside area of your office building.”

Pate still maintains county auditors cannot set up drop boxes “throughout the community,” a warning shot at Linn County Auditor Joel Miller.

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