An Iowa Democrat who is trailing in her congressional race by six votes is skipping further legal challenges and appealing directly to Democrats in the House of Representatives to review the vote.
Former state Sen. Rita Hart released a statement on Wednesday pledging to continue challenging the results of the District 2 House race in Iowa by taking her appeal to the U.S. House. Her filing is due within 30 days from Monday when Iowa certified the results of the election.
“We all watched #IA02 close from 47 votes to 6, but there are still ballots that haven’t been counted. The only way to ensure all Iowans’ votes are counted is a full examination of this election by the U.S. House that will consider every ballot cast,” Hart said on Twitter.
We all watched #IA02 close from 47 votes to 6, but there are still ballots that haven't been counted. The only way to ensure all Iowans' votes are counted is a full examination of this election by the U.S. House that will consider every ballot cast. pic.twitter.com/NVksSnT6gd
— Rita Hart (@RitaHartIA) December 2, 2020
In a statement released by her campaign, Hart alleged that “significant errors in the counting process have led to confusion over whom Iowans in the Second District elected to represent them.” Hart’s campaign referenced several reporting errors that triggered recounts before claiming that “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 recount.”
Republican House candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks is ahead of Hart after a recount in the district cut her lead from 47 ballots to six of nearly 400,000 filed in the race. A board of Iowa election officials certified the state’s vote for Miller-Meeks on Monday. Hart remained able to file additional legal challenges until Wednesday afternoon, but she said that time constraints would not have allowed the court to settle the issue, according to The Associated Press.
A challenge to the race filed with the House would fall in front of Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren, chair of the House Committee on Administration. Hart would testify in front of the committee and bring evidence of a flawed outcome.
A similar case appeared before the House in 1984 in a congressional race in Indiana between Democrat Frank McCloskey and Republican Rick McIntyre. Democrats in the House reviewed the election and announced that McCloskey had won the race by four votes. McIntyre was ahead by 418 votes before the review, with several thousand ballots thrown out for technical reasons.
As Time reports:
In 1984, Frank McCloskey, former mayor of Bloomington, Indiana, ran to represent the state’s 8th Congressional District. Running against Republican state representative Rick McIntyre, McCloskey was eventually declared the winner by 72 votes. A recount put McIntyre up by several hundred, but the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives refused to seat either until they had conducted their own recount. After the house [declared] McCloskey a congressman by a single-digit margin, Republicans walked out of the chamber en masse. Newt Gingrich, a low-ranking congressman at the time, accused the Democratic leadership of blatant thuggery. Some cite the ill will arising from this exercise in partisanship on both sides as a contributing factor in the unyielding party-line system in Congress today.
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