Iowa Democrat asks House to review race she lost by 6 votes
A Democratic House candidate who lost her Iowa race by six votes filed a notice of contest Tuesday, arguing 22 votes were improperly excluded during a recount that could have changed the results of the race.
Rita Hart, a former state senator, argued in the notice that including those ballots would have given her another 15 votes and enabled her to defeat Rep.-elect Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R).
In a statement, Hart said the 22 ballots included two curbside votes cast by disabled voters, both of which were for her, as well as five of nine absentee votes in Marion County along with a Johnson County provisional ballot and 10 absentee ballots in Johnson, Scott, Des Moines and Wapello Counties.
“As I have said from the beginning of this entire process, nothing is more important than ensuring every Iowan has their vote counted,” Hart said in a statement.
“Everyone has acknowledged that there are uncounted votes left and after reviewing those ballots and making sure they are counted, it will be clear that I have won this election. It is crucial to me to make sure that this bipartisan review by the U.S. House is fair. Iowans deserve to know that the candidate who earned the most votes is seated. I am that candidate,” she added.
In the filing, Hart called for the House of Representatives to nullify the results certified by the state and conduct a uniform hand recount with the excluded ballots added.
Hart is represented by Marc Elias, a prominent Democratic lawyer who has faced off against the Trump administration in numerous election-related lawsuits.
“Although it is admittedly tempting to close the curtain on the 2020 election cycle, prematurely ending this contest would disenfranchise Iowa voters and award the congressional seat to the candidate who received fewer lawful votes,” Elias wrote in the filing.
Miller-Meeks accused Hart of seeking intervention on her behalf from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), according to The Associated Press.
“Sen. Hart now wants a process run by one Californian, Nancy Pelosi, and decided in Washington’s hyper-partisan, dysfunctional atmosphere and not according to Iowa law,” she said.
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