PRESS RELEASE: Error by Pate’s office – County candidates filing deadline is March 25th – not March 30th

March 24, 2022

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA — On 3/23/2022, Scott County Auditor Kerri Tompkins (R) issued a press release stating that Secretary of State Paul Pate’s Office published two contradictory Primary Candidate Guides that her office had directed candidates in the primary election to use as a reference.

The contradiction in the two Guides (see page 5 in both) resides in the deadline for candidates to file their paperwork with county auditors. One guide indicates the deadline is 5pm on March 30th, and the other indicates the deadline is 5pm on March 25th. The one with the March 25th deadline is correct, i.e., March 25th is the statutory deadline. Some county candidates may be operating under the belief they have five more days to gather signatures and file their paperwork. Any candidate missing tomorrow’s statutory deadline will not be on the June 7, 2022, primary election ballot.

Joel Miller (D), candidate for Iowa Secretary of State, said, “While I have empathy for election officials making printing errors, the fact that the Secretary of State posted a revised Guide without updating the revision date is irresponsible. How are county auditors supposed to know which guide to use? More importantly, how are first time candidates with no election experience supposed to know that the guide they relied upon in July 2021 or thereafter contains the incorrect deadline? And what do county auditors tell potential candidates who relied upon the March 30th deadline version of the Guide, and show up to file paperwork on March 28th – 30th?”

As of 8pm on 3/24/2022, Secretary Pate has not issued a press release to alert potential candidates of the error his office made by his office publishing two Guides with the same revision date – one of which had the wrong deadline. Nor has his office given guidance to county auditors on how to deal with potential candidates who relied upon the Guide with the March 30th deadline.

Miller urges all news outlets to advise the public and potential county candidates of tomorrow’s 5pm deadline to file their paperwork with county auditors.  

Joel Miller officially entered the race to become Iowa’s next Secretary of State in September 2021. He has served as the Linn County Auditor and Commissioner of Elections since 2/20/2007. He was a member of the Robins city council from 2002-2005, and Mayor of Robins from 2005-2007. He is a veteran of the US Army, a former member of the IBEW, and chaired the Linn County Democratic Central Committee from 2000-2004. He grew up on a dairy farm north of Independence, Iowa.

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