Democrat Rita Hart wants to overturn the Iowa U.S. House election after losing to Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks by six votes. The House Administration Committee is reviewing the challenge.
“We don’t have to prove anything at this point, and that’s something I think is important to emphasize: The congresswoman has a certificate of election, and that demonstrates that she is the winner of the race under Iowa law,” Alan Ostergren, Miller-Meeks attorney, said.
Hart says that there were 22 ballots that should have been counted. She alleges that if those votes were counted, she would have won the election. The Iowa State Board of Canvassers certified the election.
“Contestant Hart initiated this contested election case to vindicate the promise of our democratic system: that the representatives who serve us have been selected by the votes of their constituents, not the errors and caprices of election administrators,” a 71-page brief states.
“It is the committee’s constitutional duty to investigate all of these claims,” Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren said. “Today, none of us can state with confidence who actually won this election.”
The House usually does not side in favor of a petitioner.
“Our committee should not be moving forward with overturning our colleague’s state-certified election. [Miller-Meeks] is a sitting member of Congress with all of the same rights and privileges as each and every one of us,” Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis said.
“It should not be surprising that any candidate in these circumstances would choose to exercise their rights under the law to contest the results,” Peter Whippy, a spokesman for the House Administration Committee, said.