Democracy Alerts

Notice of Contest To Be Filed with U.S House Will Affirm Rita Hart Winner

December 22, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, following an initial state recount process that left thousands of ballots in question, Rita Hart will file a Notice of Contest with the U.S. House of Representatives outlining why Rita is the winner of this race. Further, the Notice explains why the House should count every legally cast ballot to guarantee fulfillment of each voter’s constitutional right. With uncounted ballots remaining, she will ask Congress to fulfill its duty and ensure all voices in Iowa’s Second Congressional District are heard.

In the petition, Hart details 22 legally cast ballots that were unlawfully excluded from the state-certified results in Iowa’s Second Congressional District. These ballots alone, which when added to the count, prove Rita won this race, include:

  • 2 curbside ballots cast by voters living with a disability in Scott County who legally-cast their ballots under Iowa law, are permitted to vote from their vehicles and have their votes counted. Both of these were votes for Hart.
  • 9 absentee ballots cast by voters in Marion County who legally-cast their ballots but inexplicably had them not counted in the initial canvass and therefore the ballots were not permitted to be counted in the recount. 5 of these votes were for Hart, 3 for Miller-Meeks, and 1 was an undervote for neither candidate.
  • 1 provisional ballot cast by a voter in Johnson County that was legally-cast and for which the voter provided the requisite proof of residency and identity by the November 9 deadline, but was uncounted due to election worker error. This was a vote for Hart.
  • 1 absentee ballot cast by a voter in Johnson County, which was unlawfully rejected by election workers due to the location of a signature on an affidavit envelope. This was a vote for Hart.
  • 2 absentee ballots cast by voters in Johnson County who received pre-sealed ballot envelopes and therefore had to unseal the envelopes to place their ballots inside before securely sealing them. These votes were unlawfully rejected. These were votes for Hart.
  • 5 absentee ballots cast by voters in Johnson and Scott Counties who have sworn under oath that they sealed their return envelopes but election workers rejected the ballots for not being “properly sealed”. These were votes for Hart.
  • 2 absentee ballots cast by voters in Des Moines and Wapello Counties who, despite placing their ballots in drop boxes by the deadline had their ballots rejected because the drop boxes were in Linn County. These were votes for Hart.

“As I have said from the beginning of this entire process, nothing is more important than ensuring every Iowan has their vote counted,” said IA-02 candidate Rita Hart. “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.”

Although the outcome of this race has yet to be finalized, it is clear that more than enough wrongfully uncounted ballots remain, once examined and counted, to determine who won this race. Despite identifying a sufficient number of votes to determine Rita Hart won this race, she will still ask Congress for a full review of all ballots in her Notice of Contest because the initial recount used wildly inconsistent counting procedures from county to county leaving thousands of ballots in several counties unexamined by Iowans serving on county recount boards, specifically over- and undervotes. The Notice also identified 35 overseas and military ballots that did not appear to have votes for the Second Congressional District and yet where the county did not contact the voter to correct the issue.

Read the full petition here.

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