Living in Society

Count the 22 Votes

Rita Hart

The Federal Contested Election Act of 1969 is the statutory basis, designed by the Congress, to resolve election disputes like the one between Rita Hart and Mariannette Miller-Meeks in Iowa’s Second Congressional District. With a six-vote margin, it was as close as it could get.

The Hart campaign identified 22 legally cast votes that were not counted. Miller-Meeks has not contested them. They should be counted.

I read Miller-Meeks’ response to the appeal and it argued, in part, Hart did not exhaust all state-level venues for her contest. No she didn’t. That is not relevant. There is no legal requirement under Federal law to exhaust other remedies in this election dispute. If anything, the House Administration Committee is exactly where this dispute should be decided as the Congress designed the statute specifically for this type of case.

I would understand if Miller-Meeks contended the 22 ballots identified by Hart were in some manner suspect. She didn’t. Whatever the Congress decides on the rest of it, those 22 votes should be counted.

~ This letter first appeared in the Jan. 28, 2021 edition of The Daily Iowan