Iowa’s second congressional district attracted more attention than normal for an election ending months ago due to Nancy Pelosi’s push to overturn the certified election win of Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA).
The House Administration Committee, chaired by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), is claiming not all ballots were counted. Lofgren said, “the American people deserve to know who actually won this election.” Miller-Meeks’ challenger, Rita Hart, claims 22 legal votes should be counted, but were wrongfully tossed out. Miller-Meeks officially won the election by 6 votes.
Breitbart News reported last week that the Committee on House Administration voted along party lines to continue an inquiry into the congressional race after Miller-Meeks filed a motion with the Committee to dismiss Hart’s claim filed under the Federal Contested Elections Act.
According to the Daily Beast, “Under the Constitution and specific laws that give it jurisdiction, Congress has the final say on the election of its own members.”
The Des Moines Register reported on the hearing:
“The margin separating the two candidates was only six votes out of almost 400,000 cast: less than 1/6 of 1%. That’s six votes — not 6,000; not 600; not 60 or even 16 — just six fewer votes than we have members of this committee,” Chair Zoe Lofgren, D-California, told committee members. “… It should not be surprising that any candidate in these circumstances — with a margin this close — would seek to exercise their rights under the law to contest the results.”
The committee’s ranking member, Rodney Davis, R-Illinois, pointed out that Miller-Meeks’ election included a recount, a bipartisan canvassing of the ballots cast in the race and had an option to appeal those results through the state’s court system — a step Hart chose not to utilize.
“It will be one of the greatest mistakes this House makes to take up an election contest with a candidate who side-stepped the courts and instead turned to a partisan process in the House because they knew they could not win any other way,” Davis said. “Sounds familiar doesn’t it?”
The Daily Beast reported the next possible steps of the committee moving forward:
The committee could order Iowa officials to do a recount and tally the votes they threw out; after that, if Hart pulls ahead, it could all culminate in a vote on the House floor to seat her and unseat the Republican, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who was provisionally sworn into office in January.
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) stated on Monday, “We look forward to seeing every vulnerable Democrat go on the record defending this insane effort to overturn a certified election.”
According to the Daily Beast, a spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Chris Hayden responded with, “every Iowan deserves to know that his or her vote was accurately counted and the House Committee on Administration is moving forward with the correct process to ensure that is the case.”
Miller-Meeks (R-IA) told Breitbart News Sunday how Hart is attempting to overturn the election results and disenfranchise Iowa’s voters:
What [my opponent’s campaign] did was avail themselves to a provision of the Constitution that says Congress will seat its members, and appeal to the House Committee on Administration to overturn the election based upon 22 ballots that … in all likelihood would have been rejected by Iowa courts. That takes it from a campaign election process with election law to a political process and it’s a partisan political process.
The Iowa Republican further explained the election’s initial results and recount.
When the 24 counties in [Iowa’s] 2nd Congressional District had their official county campus, which is one week after the election, I was still declared the winner. I was still ahead, and then our opponent requested a recount in Iowa. There are recount boards in every county. Each candidate gets to pick a person, and then they’re supposed to agree upon a third person, and if they don’t agree upon a third person, then it’s appointed by the district judge.
The recount board … determined [that these were] illegitimate ballots when they were originally tallied. They were determined to be illegitimate ballots at the county canvas, and then the recount board determined that they were illegitimate ballots. … At three junctures during the election, they were determined to be illegitimate invalid ballots.
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