Democrat Linn County Auditor Joel Miller is no stranger to controversy. In 2020, Miller was at the center of a legal battle involving his office sending prepopulated absentee ballot request forms. A court ruled against Miller in the matter.
Now, the law-breaking county auditor has his sights set on residents who signed a nomination petition for Geralyn Jones. Jones is running for a seat on the Linn-Mar School Board.
Miller put the candidates’ nominating petitions online to be accessed by “anyone anywhere.” This is a practice that Sioux County Auditor Ryan Dokter said he had never heard of previously. Dokter is president of the Iowa State Association of County Auditors.
Dokter acknowledged concerns about potential retribution or retaliation if those petitions are made readily available to “anyone anywhere” and said he believed the process used by his office as well as the Secretary of State’s office is the way to go.
Bret Nilles, the chair of the Linn County Democrats, showed up at the residence of one of those individuals who signed the petition for Jones. Nilles never identified himself and began to interrogate the resident right away.
Nilles challenged the nomination petitions of Jones, who opposes school mask mandates and believes wearing a mask should be a parent’s choice. The challenge was shot down last week.
However, Miller believes those involved might have admitted to breaking a state law, according to KCRG. If convicted, jail time could be possible.
Miller requested the investigation after affidavits were signed and Jones admitted other people signed the petition on behalf of others.
KCRG reports Miller is “required” to ask for an investigation because he could get fined.
Of note, Miller tweeted out a special thank you to Nilles on Sept. 22 for the “warm welcome” at that night’s central committee meeting.
Miller has circumvented state law already this year. A new state law prohibits county auditors from sending absentee ballot request forms to voters unless a voter asks for it.
Miller instead put an absentee ballot request form in the Penny Saver to encourage people to request a ballot to vote by mail in the upcoming school and city elections.