Iowa’s Miller-Meeks survives multiple glitches, missing ballots, and found ballots to flip 2nd Congressional district of Iowa by 6 votes.
End of recount maintains Miller-Meeks’ lead in Iowa 2nd District U.S. House race; margin just 6 votes
By: Zachary Oren Smith, Iowa City Press-Citizen, November 29, 2020
Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks remains atop Iowa’s 2nd District congressional race despite a Saturday recount in Clinton County that eroded her already single-digit lead to just six votes.
The Clinton County tally concluded a recount in the 24-county southeast Iowa district, which extends from Jasper and Marion counties in the Des Moines metro to Davenport, and includes Iowa City and Burlington.
The vote will go to a state canvassing board Monday to be certified, which would make Miller-Meeks the official winner.
In a statement, Hart’s campaign manager, Zach Meunier, did not say whether the campaign will file a legal challenge in the race, the closest House election in the nation. That would trigger a review by a judicial panel and cast continued uncertainty over the outcome.
“When we began this recount Rita Hart was down by 47 votes,” Meunier said. “As more ballots have been counted, the margin has narrowed dramatically and is now down to a mere 6 votes — making this the closest Congressional race in recent history, and one of the very closest in the last hundred years.
“Unfortunately, as this process continues, the Miller-Meeks campaign has sought to keep legitimate votes from being counted — pushing to disqualify and limit the number of Iowans whose votes are counted,” he said. “We will closely review what the county and state boards do on Monday with an eye toward making sure all Iowa voices are fully and fairly heard.”
In her own statement, Miller-Meeks thanked the auditors’ staffs and volunteers who conducted the election and recount, saying “they personify the words ‘public servant’ and ‘engaged citizenship.’“
“While the race is extraordinarily close, I am proud to have won this contest and look forward to being certified as the winner … on Monday,” Miller-Meeks said. “It is the honor of a lifetime to be elected to serve the people of eastern and southern Iowa. Iowans are tenacious, optimistic and hard-working, and I will take those same attributes to Washington, D.C., on their behalf.”
The recount in Clinton County — where Hart lives on a farm near Wheatland — left Miller-Meeks with 10,945 votes there to Hart’s 12,997. A net gain of two votes for Hart was not enough to overcome Miller-Meeks’ lead, which going into the recount had been just eight votes out of more than 394,000 cast in the Nov. 3 race.
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