Joel Miller takes Democratic ticket for secretary of state


Photo courtesy of Joel Miller

Joel Miller is was one of three Iowa county auditors to be sued by former President Donald Trump for sending in prefilled absentee ballots during the pandemic.

By Katherine Kealey, Iowa Capital Dispatch, [email protected]

Editor’s note: This article has been edited to match Iowa State Daily style writing. 

Linn County Auditor Joel Miller won the Democratic nomination for Iowa secretary of state and will run against Republican incumbent Paul Pate in November for the seat. 

The Associated Press declared Miller the winner with 70 percent of votes, while Clinton County Auditor Eric Van Lancker received 29 percent with 78 percent of precincts reporting. 

Miller, 66, of Robins, served as Linn County auditor since 2007. He previously served on the city council and as mayor of Robins.

In March 2021 Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a new measure into law to shorten the early voting period in Iowa while limiting county auditors’ authority over parts of the election process. Iowans now have 20 days to vote early as opposed to 29 and polls close at 8 p.m. instead of 9 p.m. Ballots sent by mail no longer have until noon the Monday after Election Day to still make the count. Under the new law, county auditors can only count ballots that arrive by the time polls close.

If elected in November, Miller has said he would create a system to automatically register 17-year-olds to vote while basing absentee ballot drop box placement on population as opposed to county. Miller also wants to permit county commissioners the authority to mail voter ID pin cards so voting isn’t hindered by the need of a driver’s license. 

Endorsements for Miller include the Iowa Federation of Labor and county auditors from Polk, and Woodbury County.