WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the tightest congressional race in over 30 years, Iowa’s 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, Dec. 8.
On Nov. 13, the Hart campaign filed for a a complete recount in all 24 counties in the 2nd Congressional 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.