SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Thousands of absentee ballot request forms sent out by Woodbury County will be invalidated.
District Court Judge Patrick H. Tott said he will not revisit an earlier ruling in support of Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate’s order that those pre-populated forms are illegal.
Former Iowa State Senator Rick Bertrand is now calling for Woodbury County Auditor Pat Gill to resign over the pre-populated forms.
“Pat Gill, what he did, was not a mistake. It was illegal. The courts ruled that and unfortunately, Mr. Gill has now put the county in a financial, in an election crisis mode, and I think he needs to go. It’s going to be a huge cost. We have estimated about 175,000 to the county, but the bigger thing there is going to be people that are confused. There is going to be voter suppression and there will be voters disenfranchised in November because of Mr Gills illegal action,” Bertrand said.
On Monday, Gill’s attorney filed a motion to reconsider the temporary injunction, saying the district court did not address all of auditor Gill’s arguments stating, in part:
“The Secretary of State lacked authority to issue his emergency election proclamation on July 17, 2020. State law does not prohibit the county auditor from mailing pre-populated absentee ballot request forms.”
Gill estimates it will cost the county around $20,000 just to notify each person who received a pre-populated absentee ballot request form.
Woodbury County Supervisor Marty Pottebaum said that money will come from the auditor’s budget.
“We don’t sell widgets. All of our money is tax money, but we just set his budget out of the tax askings of the county, and it’s up to him to decide what he’ll do with that budget. But, other than that, he does not answer to us. He does not need our permission to do things,” Pottebaum said.
Judge Tott said county auditors must send out blank absentee forms.
Gills attorney told KCAU they are now in the process of evaluating options to appeal the temporary injunction to the Iowa Supreme Court.