Lawsuits over absentee ballot requests
Three county auditors have been sued by Republican groups asking the courts to invalidate the auditor’s mailing of pre-filled out requests for absentee ballots to all voters whose names are on their registered voter lists. The counties are Johnson, Linn, and Woodbury. The Republicans are complaining that the auditors are violating Secretary of State Paul Pate’s order, requiring that mailed ballot requests be blank, requiring the voter to fill them out before sending them in. Voters move and die regularly, so at any given time some of the ballot requests would be addressed to people who no longer live at that address. A dishonest person receiving a filled out ballot request in the name of a deceased person could forge the persons signature and request a ballot. They would not need to know the voter’s ID since it would be already on the request form.
As I write this the judges in Linn and Woodbury counties have ruled in favor of the groups challenging the mailings, and have ordered the auditors to contact their voters and tell them not to use the filled in request forms that they had received. The judge has not ruled in the Johnson County case, but since the judge is the same one that ruled in the Linn County case, I would expect a similar ruling. The Secretary of State is sending absentee ballot request forms to all registered voters that must be filled in by the voters.
Authorities seem to have done a better job in Kenosha, Wisc., in protecting their citizens from riots than in some of the west coast cities. Kenosha is reported to have been calm now for several days. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, authorities report that they arrested 175 people, before the calm. Those arrested were reportedly from 44 different cities. Only 73 were from Kenosha.
The Governor called in the National Guard at the request of local leaders. The violence came to an end.
I am not sure that most people know, but the same thing happened in Minneapolis last May. The governor called up the Minnesota National Guard and the violence came to an end.
This is not the case in Portland and Seattle where local officials and the governors have refused to use the National Guard and the violence continues after months and months.
More beef and pork exports to Taiwan
I have received an e-mail, that I assume was also sent to other legislators, from Thomas Tsai, the Deputy Director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago, announcing that Taipei has agreed to expand purchases of U.S. beef and pork. Mr. Tsai expresses the hope that there will be a new bi-lateral trade agreement between the U.S. and Taipei. Mr. Tsai says that currently Taipei is the ninth largest trading partner with the U.S., and the seventh largest importer of agricultural products.
Jury trials to resume Sept. 14
The Iowa Supreme Court has announced that jury trials will resume on Sept. 14. They had been suspended because of the Virus. Three pilot jury trials were recently held to gather information on conducting those trials under the new conditions. Those trials were held in Scott, Muscatine and Calhoun counties, and all were criminal trials with 12 member juries. There were two convictions and one acquittal. All the jurors, attorneys, court staff and the presiding judge were surveyed after the trials to get their reactions. On the whole reactions were very good. The participants thought the trials went well.
As always please feel free to contact me with your ideas or concerns.