Mia Love suing to stop vote count in Utah

Rep. Mia LoveLudmya (Mia) LovePoll: McAdams neck and neck with GOP challenger in Utah Former NFL player Burgess Owens wins Utah GOP primary The Hill's Campaign Report: The political heavyweights in Tuesday's primary fights MORE (R-Utah) filed a lawsuit Wednesday to halt the processing and counting of votes in her bid for Utah's 4th Congressional District seat.

Love, who closely trails her Democratic opponent, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, requests in the lawsuit that the counting be stopped so that her campaign can examine “whether the signatures on ballot envelopes match the signatures on file with Salt Lake County.”

The lawsuit claims that poll monitors have noted instances when signatures on ballot envelopes did not match those on file. 


"Given the time sensitivity of this petition, petitioners request a hearing at the court’s earliest convenience," the lawsuit adds.

In the lawsuit, filed in Utah's 3rd District Court, Love seeks the ability for her campaign to contest the county's determination of signatures on ballot envelopes, asking that such votes remain uncounted until those challenges have been settled.

"The county has permitted poll monitors to observe that verification process, but those poll monitors must observe at a distance and are unable to view the provisional ballot envelope or form or information on the County’s VISTA database in any meaningful way," the lawsuit states.

Love's attorney Robert Harrington said the complaint is not meant to accuse anyone of wrongdoing.

“We have great respect for the critical and at times, complex, ballot counting process. As we’ve spent hours observing these efforts, we’ve found a few instances where increased transparency and scrutiny are needed," Harrington said in a statement to The Hill. "Let us be clear, we are not accusing anyone of anything. Simply put, we have submitted this petition to improve the elections process.”

“Because every single vote is crucial in the Love/McAdams race, the Court should grant Petitioners an opportunity to challenge the County verifiers’ determinations on whether the signatures on ballot envelopes match the signatures on file with the County," the lawsuit says. "A meaningful challenge procedure must occur before the ballot and corresponding ballot envelope become separated forever.”

McAdams currently leads Love by a narrow margin of just over a thousand votes. More than 16,000 provisional ballots remain to be counted. 

The race is still too close to call, but McAdams attended orientation for congressional freshmen in Washington this week. 

Love's and McAdams's campaigns did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Hill.

Trump has mocked Love, singling her out at a press conference last week as one of several Republicans who seemed to be losing their reelection bids because they didn’t align themselves closely enough with him.

“Mia Love gave me no love. And she lost. Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia,” he said Friday.

Democrats have already flipped over 30 Republican House seats in the midterm elections, but that number could grow as ballots continue to be counted in outstanding contests.

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-- Updated 5:45 p.m.