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Winneshiek County Auditor Ben Steines tells Polk County judge that 29 of the 33 ballots were mailed in time, according to the Postal Service

Posted: Thu, Dec 6, 2018 1:25 PM

Winneshiek County Auditor Ben Steines has filed a report with the Polk County Clerk of Courts which says 29 of the 33 disputed ballots in the Iowa House District 55 election were mailed by November 5th--the day before the fall election.

Steines' report was posted by the Polk County Clerk of Court on Thursday.  A copy of the report is linked below.

The report says Steines "confirmed with the US Post Office" that 29 of the uncounted absentee ballots were put in the mail "on or before" November 5th.  Under state elections law, that means the ballots were sent before the deadline.

The report by Steines says one of the ballots was mailed after the deadline, while three other ballots could not be verified by the Post Office.

Said Democratic candidate Kayla Koether, who initiated the legal action in Polk County court, "Now that the dates have been verified, there is no reason that these Iowans should not have their votes counted."  Koether also stated, "We now know for certain there are at least 29 Northeast Iowans who cast their ballots in good faith and followed the law to make sure their vote gets counted."

When Polk County Judge Scott Beattie issued his ruling in the case on Monday, he described his ruling as "limited to the preservation of evidence."  Beattie said he would hold a separate hearing after the 33 ballots have been analyzed by the Post Office, determining "if further relief is warranted."  No date has been set yet for a separate hearing.