ACTIVE

*Four Pillars Lawsuit

Iowa COVID-19 Election Relief*

LULAC of Iowa v. Pate

On behalf of LULAC of Iowa and Majority Forward, this lawsuit challenges a law passed in late June that prohibits election officials in Iowa from using the voter registration database to fill in any information missing from a voter’s absentee ballot request. This new rule puts an undue burden on voters who vote by mail, especially during the public health crisis caused by COVID-19.

Read the complaint here.

VICTORIES

Iowa Absentee Ballots

League of United Latin American Citizens v. Iowa Secretary of State 

In 2018, we filed a lawsuit on behalf of the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa (LULAC) challenging Iowa’s Secretary of State’s interpretation of absentee ballot review law. The Secretary forbade commissioners from using the voter registration system to track down missing information on an absentee ballot, making it almost impossible to notify voters of their opportunity to cure. In 2019, we won the case, and the court found the Secretary’s interpretation of the law to be “irrational, illogical, and wholly unjustifiable.”

Read the order here.

Iowa Voter ID

League of United Latin American Citizens v. Iowa Secretary of State 

State constitutional challenge, on behalf of LULAC of Iowa and a college-aged voter, to a 2017 Iowa law that instituted a voter identification requirement for in-person voting starting in 2019. Beginning in 2018, the law also required voters to provide an identification number to request an absentee ballot; shortened the absentee voting period; and allowed election officials to reject absentee applications and ballots based on a perceived signature mismatch. In 2018, the trial court granted our motion for temporary injunction and enjoined the enforcement of the absentee ballot-related restrictions and prevented the Secretary of State from misinforming voters about the identification requirements during the 2018 general election, and the Iowa Supreme Court affirmed on all grounds with the exception of the shortened absentee voting period, which the Court allowed to go into effect. League of United Latin American Citizens v. Iowa Secretary of State, No. 18-1276, 2018 WL 3946147 (Iowa Aug. 10, 2018). After a four-day trial in June 2019, the court ruled in our favor, prohibiting the State from rejecting absentee applications and ballots based on a purported signature mismatch and also prohibiting the State from instructing voters that they were “required” to include an identification number on absentee ballot requests. The court further ordered the State to issue all voters a free voter identification card upon request.

Read the order here.