WHEATLAND, IOWA — On Thursday, voters whose ballots have yet to be counted in Iowa’s Second Congressional District Candidate race came together to call for their votes to be included in this exceedingly close race. The voters, who have signed affidavits attesting that their votes were legally cast and wrongfully not counted, have joined Rita Hart in asking the U.S. House to fulfill their constitutional duty and ensure every Iowan’s vote is counted. As outlined in Rita’s Notice of Contest, there are a total of 22 legally-cast ballots that were excluded from the initial count. When counted, those votes will put Hart ahead by 9 votes and make her the lawful winner of this exceedingly close race. In addition to those 22 votes, Hart is asking the House to conduct a full hand recount and examine all ballots cast in the race.
The Associated Press has yet to call a winner in this race.
LAST UPDATED: 12:00 PM ET
ATLANTA — Today, Fair Fight filed a Temporary Restraining Order in federal court to stop True The Vote from illegally challenging voters and responded to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s failure to do his job when it comes to protecting the rights of Georgia voters and instructing county boards to follow federal law. Fair Fight Senior Advisor Lauren Groh-Wargo issued the following statement:
“We are unsurprised that, on the day that Secretary Raffensperger’s corruption and waste of taxpayer dollars is exposed in a bombshell report, he is eager to change the subject, ignore federal law, and defend an organization that is actively trying to disenfranchise Georgians who are taking care of sick family members, relocating temporarily because of the economic crisis, or serving in the military.
“Secretary Raffensperger seems to care more about the ability of a Texas organization with a racist past to illegally coordinate with the Republican Party of Georgia in an 11th hour attempt to disrupt our election than he does about lawful Georgia voters’ right to remain on the rolls. He purposely ignores that 40 county election boards – controlled by both Democrats and Republicans – have rejected True The Vote’s attempt to illegally challenge their voters.
“Raffensperger and out-of-state voter suppression groups may not have an appreciation for federal law or the rights of Georgia voters, but the courts do. Given that Secretary Raffensperger has failed to direct county boards to comply with federal law, Georgia voters’ only option is to seek relief in the courts. It is for that reason that we are filing a request for a temporary restraining order today to stop True The Vote from illegally challenging Georgia voters.
“Fair Fight encourages Georgians to not be distracted, to not be intimidated, and to vote. Call the voter protection hotline at 888-730-5816 with any questions.”
Read the Temporary Restraining Order request here.
LAST UPDATE: 6:45PM ET
WHEATLAND, IOWA —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.
LAST UPDATED: 9:00 AM ET
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, Democracy Docket filed new voting rights lawsuits in four counties in Georgia. On behalf of New Georgia Project, the lawsuits were filed against election officials in Bibb, Clarke, Houston and Paulding counties for failure to comply with the state’s early voting requirements ahead of the January 5th runoffs.
Currently, the named counties are not offering early voting on December 19th, December 31st, or on any of the days in January, despite statutory requirements compelling them to do so. The lawsuits collectively seek to ensure that all four counties amend their early voting days to include the additional dates and hours.
With control of the U.S. Senate hanging in the balance, Republicans are already making a concerted effort to suppress the vote in Georgia. Last week, three separate lawsuits were filed by Republicans, including the Perdue and Loeffler campaigns, attacking voting rights. The lawsuits challenge various provisions and practices of state election law, including the use of ballot drop boxes and the early processing of absentee ballots.
LAST UPDATED: 7:30 PM ET
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has officially recertified the results of the 2020 presidential election following a recount requested by the Trump campaign. Georgia conducted two recounts of the statewide election result. Both counts affirmed President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the state. Biden carried Georgia by 11,784 votes, flipping the state blue for the first time in nearly 30 years.
LAST UPDATED: 3:00 PM ET
WASHINGTON, D.C.— In the tightest congressional race in over 30 years, Iowa 2nd Congressional District Democratic candidate Rita Hart trails Republican candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks by six votes out of more than 394,000 cast. The Hart Campaign intends to bypass filing an election contest with the state and instead file a contest with the U.S. House, citing concerns over Iowa’s expedited contest timeline. Under Iowa law, a five-judge panel would have to declare a winner by Tuesday, December 8.
On November 13th, the the Hart Campaign filed for a a complete recount in all 24 counties in the second district. At the time of the recount, the vote difference between the two candidates was a mere 57 votes. The certified results of the recount shrunk Miller-Meeks’ lead to six votes.
“While that recount considered more votes, limitations in Iowa law mean there are more legally cast votes left to be counted,” Hart Campaign manager Zach Meunier said. “With a margin this small, it is critical that we take this next step to ensure Iowans’ ballots that were legally cast are counted.”
Once the contest is filed, the Committee on House Administration will conduct a hearing where the Hart Campaign can present evidence and testimony. The race is the closest House contest since 1984.
LAST UPDATED 5:00 ET