Court scheduled to hear appeal on Voter Registration Commission decision

February 18, 2020

On 7/10/2020, a Polk County (Iowa) district judge is scheduled to hold a hearing on my appeal of the recent decision made by the Iowa Voter Registration Commission (VRC) on my HAVA complaint on the Iowa Secretary of State. I would have preferred that the Court hold the hearing prior to the June 2nd primary election.

The purpose of this appeal is to ask the District Court to order the VRC to fulfill its duty by holding a contested case hearing in which records can be subpoenaed and witnesses can be cross-examined – neither of which occurred in any of the VRC’s proceedings leading up to its decision. Time is of the essence and the security of our election systems in Iowa needs to be thoroughly scrutinized to ensure we have minimized our vulnerabilities. Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor & Commissioner of Elections

1a – Civil Original Notice – 2.13.20.PDF

1b – Petition for Judicial Review.PDF

1c – Exhibit A.PDF

1c – Exhibit B.PDF

1c – Exhibit C.PDF

2a – Order Establishing Schedule – 2.17.20.PDF

2b – Order.PDF

NEWS RELEASE: Absentee Voting Begins Monday, February 10 for Alburnett Community School District and College Community School District Special Elections

February 6, 2020

For more information, contact:

Rebecca Stonawski

Deputy Commissioner of Elections

319-892-5300, ext. 1

elections

For Immediate Release

February 5, 2020

Special Election:

Absentee Voting Begins Monday, February 10 for Alburnett Community School District and College Community School District

LINN COUNTY, IA – February 5, 2020 – Early, absentee voting begins Monday, February 10 in Linn County for the Alburnett Community School District and the College Community School District Special Elections.

Voting In-Person

Beginning Monday, February 10, Linn County voters residing in the Alburnett Community School District or College Community School District may vote in-person at the Election Services Department of the Linn County Auditor’s Office. The office is located in the Linn County Public Service Center, 935 2nd St. SW in Cedar Rapids. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m-5 p.m. In-person absentee voting continues through Monday, March 2.

College Community School District crosses into Johnson and Benton counties. Voters from Johnson or Benton counties should contact their respective Auditor’s office for voting information.

Voting by Mail

Voters may request to have an absentee ballot mailed to them. The last day voters can request ballots by mail is Friday, February 21, 2020.

Absentee voters may return their ballot by mail or hand-deliver their ballot to the Election Services Department. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked on or before Monday, March 2 in order to be counted.

Satellite Voting

A satellite voting option will be available. Linn County voters may choose to vote from 2-9 p.m. on Friday, February 14 at the Prairie High School new main entrance located at 401 76th Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids. Johnson and Benton County voters may request absentee ballots at this event.

Election Day Vote Centers

Election Day is Tuesday, March 3. The polls will be open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

Alburnett Community School District voters may vote at either of the following locations:

· Alburnett United Methodist Church, 221 S. Main St., Alburnett

· King of Kings Lutheran Church, 3275 N. Center Point Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids

College Community School District voters (for Linn County only) may vote at any one of the following three locations:

· College Community Schools District Office, 401 76th Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids

· Ely Public Library, 595 Dows St., Ely

· Fairfax Public Library, 313 Vanderbilt St., Fairfax

Election Portal

Go to linncountyelections.org to gain access to all election-related information for Linn County.

The following can be viewed or downloaded:

· Absentee ballot request forms

· Voter registration forms

· Sample ballots

· Election Day information

Dates & Deadlines

Due Date Event / Deadline
2/10/2020 Absentee Voting Begins
2/21/2020 Last Day to Pre-register to Vote for this Election
2/21/2020 Last Day to Request an Absentee Ballot to be Mailed
3/2/2020 Last Day to Vote In-Person Absentee (Linn County Auditor’s Office)
3/3/2020 Election Day
3/9/2020

First Canvass of Votes

3/16/2020 Second Canvass of Votes

For questions regarding this election, call the Linn County Election Services Office at 319-892-5300, ext. 1 or email elections.

###

News coverage on HAVA complaint: Linn County Auditor v Iowa Secretary of State

January 17, 2020

A hearing on the motion to dismiss my HAVA complaint began at 10am this morning (1/17/2020). On a 2-1 vote, the Iowa Voter Registration Commission (the Presiding Officer) dismissed my complaint, ignoring Federal law, which required a hearing.

Unfortunately, this decision by the Presiding Officer set a precedent that any complaint filed against the Iowa Secretary of State can be dismissed without a hearing on the complaint.

“If you see something, say something.” I did that and never got my “day in court.” We all lost something today.

Here are the online news stories thus far:

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/investigations/2020/01/17/iowa-linn-county-auditor-complaint-voter-registration-vulnerable-dismissed/2774034001/

https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/government/joel-miller-voters-commission-shoots-down-linn-county-auditors-complaint-over-election-security-20200117

Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

The saga of my HAVA … complaint

January 16, 2020

If you want to listen-in on the motion to dismiss hearing on my HAVA complaint on the Iowa Secretary of State, please dial-in the conference call number below before 10am on Friday, 1/17/2020.

Sound quality and phone line availability are not guaranteed, but it is a public hearing and ALL ARE WELCOME TO LISTEN, but not speak (there is no public comment period on the agenda).   Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

From: Widen, Molly [SOS] [Molly.Hammer@sos.iowa.gov]
Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2020 3:06 PM
Subject: Conference Call Information

Good Afternoon,

Please use the following information to call in to tomorrow’s meeting. I will stand the line up a few minutes before 10:00 AM.

Conference Call Number: 866-685-1580

Conference Code: 0009990334

Sincerely,

Molly M. Widen – Legal Counsel – Office of Iowa Secretary of State Paul D. Pate

HAVA hearing rescheduled

December 20, 2019

The hearing on the Iowa Secretary of State’s motion to dismiss my HAVA complaint has been rescheduled for 1pm on December 30th in the Iowa Secretary of State’s Lucas Building Office in Des Moines. For details on the complaint – see https://lcauditor.wordpress.com/?s=hava

Until then,

Happy Holidays!

Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

From: Widen, Molly [SOS] <Molly.Hammer>
Sent: Friday, December 20, 2019 9:49 AM
Subject: VRC Hearing

Good Morning:

This email is being sent out on behalf of the Voter Registration Commission. Any questions about the content of this email, or the hearing generally, should be directed to Commissioner Charlie Smithson. Therefore, DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL.

The Voter Registration Commission has rescheduled their hearing for Monday, December 30th at 1:00 p.m. The hearing will take place in the Secretary of State’s Lucas Building Office, in the Large Conference Room.

Sincerely,

Molly M. Widen
Legal Counsel
Office of Iowa Secretary of State Paul D. Pate
Office: (515) 281-5864

Mobile: (515) 210-4634

Email: molly.widen
SERVICE · PARTICIPATION · INTEGRITY

sos.iowa.gov

Iowa Secretary of State not transparent

December 17, 2019

On 12/13/2019, I filed a complaint on the Office of the Iowa Secretary of State for failure to comply with Chapter 22 of the Code of Iowa.  The hearing officer in Case #19FC:0144 will be the Iowa Public Information Board.

Unfortunately, my track record with the SoS is poor.  On 7/1/2019, I mailed them a public records request for information regarding IVoters development from January 2018 to the present.  They allegedly complied with my request by sending me one December 2017 email and classified everything else as confidential.

The SoS did not even bother to acknowledge or respond to the five public records requests in my complaint.  That is brazen of them.  If they are not complying with public records requests from other elected officials, how are they treating John Q. Public?  – Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

Bad Iowa felon list could reduce caucus attendance

December 13, 2019

Review finds 15 errors on ineligible felon voters list for 1 small Iowa county illustrates why a ‘Bad Iowa felon list could reduce caucus attendance.’  If you cannot register to vote, you cannot participate in the Iowa caucuses.

Recently, the Iowa Secretary of State vowed to have the Iowa Felon List (IFL) cleaned up prior to the November 2020 presidential election.  That’s not good enough!  Iowans will vote on (caucus for) presidential candidates on 2/3/2020.  Any errors in the IFL need to be corrected prior to 12/31/2019 before the political parties receive the official list of registered voters to be used for the caucuses.

Recently, I visited with an Assistant US District Attorney (USDOJ) and staffers for Senators Grassley and Ernst.  An edited version of my follow-up email to them is here.

In my email, I suggest the USDOJ file an injunction to prohibit the use of the IFL until it has been 100% audited and proven accurate.  The audit should be performed by an outside CPA firm – not government employees and not political parties.

The press has done its job by pointing out the IFL is bad.  Now is the time for someone at the Federal or State level to act to suspend the use of the IFL until it is fixed.  Who will right this injustice?  – Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

HAVA complaints, every commissioner’s duty

December 9, 2019

Some people may think I filed a HAVA complaint on the Iowa Secretary of State (SoS) for partisan reasons.  Some may think I am just seeking publicity.  You will think what you want, but I will tell you that I have a duty.

I have a duty under Iowa Administrative Code (IAC) Chapter 721-29 to report possible cybersecurity incidents I have identified, which could potentially jeopardize “the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of an information system (e.g., IVoters) or the information (e.g., your voter registration records) the system processes, stores, or transmits ….”  In Iowa, the IAC carries the same force of law as statutes.

The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 is Federal law and says a complaint can be filed for a violation that has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur in connection with a federal election (e.g., the upcoming 2020 primary and general elections).

Federal law says that any person can file a HAVA complaint.  The State of Iowa says county commissioners have a duty to report anything that could jeopardize IVoters.  It is as simple as that, except I want the items I have identified in my HAVA complaint addressed/fixed before the June 2020 primary election.  And you should, too.  Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor (LCA)

Latest legal filings re HAVA complaint:

Final Motion to Dismiss by SoS; and

Final Reply to the Motion to Dismiss by LCA.

News coverage of HAVA complaint

December 5, 2019
In anticipation of the Iowa Voter Registration Commission holding a hearing to determine whether to dismiss or proceed on my HAVA complaint – see previous posts – I compiled a listing of the news coverage on this topic. 
PLEASE NOTE:  At 3:15pm on 12/5/2019, I received an email indicating a family member of one of the commissioners passed away this afternoon; therefore, the hearing will likely be postponed to a later date in December.
Please contact me if you have any questions.  Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor & Commissioner of Elections
Des Moines Register – 11/24/2019 – Iowa’s 2012 election problem a window into ongoing voter dysfunction, county auditor contends
The Gazette – 10/30/2019 – State hearing set for Linn County auditor’s complaint
KFI AM 640 – 10/23/2019 – Is Iowa’s aging “I-Voter” system vulnerable against 2020 attacks?
KCRG – 10/22/2019 – Preventing election attacks paramount for state in 2020, but some want better assurance of security
Government Technology – 10/22/2019 – Linn County Auditor Raises Concern About State Voter System
The Gazette – 8/22/2019 – Linn County Auditor Joel Miller concerned about security of voter registration database
The Advocate – 8/12/2019 – At Def Con, hackers and lawmakers came together to tackle holes in election security
Des Moines Register – 8/12/2019 – Iowa election system prone to hacks, Iowa auditor alleges in complaint. Secretary of State’s office calls complaints ‘ignorant.’
The Gazette – 8/3/2019 – Miller: Saying I-Voters is secure is not enough
The Gazette – 7/29/2019 – Pate: Iowa offers a model for election security
KGAN TV – 7/22/2019 –  Linn County auditor considers legal action against state over voter security
Siouxland News – 7/21/2019 – Iowa will keep voter registration system for 2020 elections
Associated Press – 7/19/2019 – Iowa will keep voter registration system for 2020 elections

 

Miller running for re-election

December 4, 2019

I have had a few people question if I am running for re-election as Linn County Auditor in 2020.  I am.  In September, I started going door-to-door with my nomination papers.

Today, I talked to Chairman Brett Nilles of the Linn County Democratic Party and requested he include my nomination papers in the precinct packets to be distributed for the upcoming caucuses.

When I ran in 2016, I thought that would be my last run.  One son lived in Wisconsin and my wife and I wanted to see his family more.  Another son lived in Central Iowa and we wanted to see his family, too.  Thankfully, our daughter and her family live in the Metro area.  The weekend drives to Wisconsin and the balancing act between families was starting to take a toll on us.  Not running for re-election appeared to be the solution.

Earlier this year, my son, daughter-in-law, and grandkids from Wisconsin moved into a house about 200 feet from our home.  No more exhausting weekend drives.  The balancing act still continues, but it is manageable.

So yes, I am running to be the Democratic nominee for Linn County Auditor in the June 2020 primary election.  Family considerations are not necessarily a good reason to run for re-election, but they certainly can be a major reason not to run.

I have other reasons for running for re-election and I will share those at the appropriate time.  Until then, Happy Holidays!  Joel D. Miller – Grandfather.  Paid for by Miller for Auditor


%d bloggers like this: