Hart Mounts Challenge to Outcome in Iowa’s Second District
WHEATLAND, Iowa – Democrat Rita Hart is challenging the vote totals in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, two days after a state board certified Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks the winner in a contest that came down to just six votes.
The race is the closest federal election in the country this year, and Hart said Wednesday she believes there are far more than enough legally cast ballots that were not considered during last week’s recount to change the outcome of the election.
She plans to file a petition with the House Committee on Administration under the Federal Contested Elections Act, a decision she says will allow for enough time for all legally cast ballots to be considered, ensuring Iowans’ votes are accurately counted.
“When the recount process began more than two weeks ago, Rita Hart was down by 47 votes. Since then, more Iowans’ ballots have been counted and Rita has continuously gained ground, narrowing the gap to a mere six votes,” said Hart campaign manager Zach Meunier in a written statement.
“While that recount considered more votes, limitations in Iowa law mean there are more legally cast votes left to be counted. With a margin this small, it is critical that we take this next step to ensure Iowans’ ballots that were legally cast are counted. In the weeks to come, we will file a petition with the House Committee on Administration requesting that these votes be counted, and we hope that Mariannette Miller-Meeks will join us in working to ensure that every Iowans’ voice is heard,” Meunier said.
Hart’s campaign maintains that since Election Day, significant errors have occurred during the counting process, leading to confusion over who is the true winner of the race.
They note that:
- On Nov. 6, Secretary of State Paul Pate announced a significant over-reporting error in Jasper County, triggering a county-wide recount;
- Then, on November 10, Pate announced yet another reporting error, this time involving under-reported votes in Lucas County;
- On November 23, the recount board in Jasper County conducted a machine recount that netted nine votes for Rita Hart. However, at the urging of the Miller-Meeks campaign, the recount board conducted yet another recount on November 25 that netted just one vote for the Democrat.
Further, the campaign said, many counties did not fully review ballots to identify valid votes that the machines did not recognize, in part because of the time and burden that would have been required for such a thorough count.
Once the initial district-wide canvass was completed on Nov. 12, the gap between the two candidates was 47 votes. After the state recount process, the margin has narrowed further to just six votes — making this the closest federal race since 1984.
More Iowans’ votes were counted after the state recount process, but time constraints and a lack of standard rules prevented all votes from being counted. The Federal Contested Elections Act petition will ensure that more Iowans’ votes are counted, the campaign said.
The Associated Press announced earlier this week that it will not declare a winner in the race until all legal options are exhausted.
In The News
Thirty-five states are at extreme or high risk of partisan gerrymandering, according to an in-depth report by the nonpartisan RepresentUs organization. The Gerrymandering Threat Index rates all 50 states, and its authors argue their findings underscore the urgent need to pass the redistricting reforms within the... Read More
WASHINGTON - A bipartisan bill to extend the Paycheck Protection Program to May 31 is gaining support in the House and the Senate and will likely be voted on before lawmakers head back to their districts at the end of the month. The proposal to extend... Read More
WASHINGTON - It’s hard to believe it’s almost that time of year again, but on Monday came word that the peak bloom for the cherry blossoms ringing the Tidal Basin in Washington is currently expected to occur April 2-5. That means the most vivid of blooms... Read More
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Josh Venable, a longtime Michigan GOP operative and chief of staff to former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, can trace the arc of the state's Republican Party clearly."This was the state where to be Republican was defined by Gerald Ford and George... Read More
NEW YORK (AP) — Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. fought for a year and a half to get access to former President Donald Trump's tax records.Now, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, he will soon have them. But what will that mean for... Read More
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — For Native Americans, Deb Haaland is more than an elected official on track to become the first Indigenous secretary of the Interior Department. She is a sister, an auntie and a fierce pueblo woman whose political stances have been molded by her... Read More