Democrat Rita Hart, who lost to Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks in Iowa’s Second District several months ago, abandoned her quixotic attempt to overturn the results of that congressional election Wednesday afternoon.
As reported by Alpha News 11 days ago, Miller-Meeks beat Hart by six votes in November. The results were twice recounted and certified by the state’s bipartisan panel on elections. Hart then challenged the outcome in the United States Congress, rather than through Iowa’s court system. She asked the Democrat-led House Administration Committee to investigate ballots she alleged were improperly counted. Hart claimed that if 22 other legally cast ballots were tabulated, she would win the race.
U.S. House members had a final chance to contest electoral irregularities in early January but none did.
“Every Democrat voted that every election was perfect, efficient, valid and every representative should be seated. No one contested my race,” Meeks said earlier this month. “I was ahead on election night, at the official county canvass, and after all ballots were examined, we had a bipartisan recount. She could have appealed to impartial Iowa courts if she had concerns but decided to skip that because she knew she’d lose, so she took it to Congress. You can’t change rules because you don’t get the result you need.”
Despite finally acknowledging Miller-Meeks’ victory, Hart claimed the ultimate results represent a “stain on democracy” and said “the truth had not prevailed.”
“Since Election Day, and throughout this entire process, my mission has been about ensuring the voices of Iowans who followed the law are not silenced,” she wrote Wednesday on Twitter. “I am saddened that some Iowans’ votes will not count through no fault of their own. The work of ensuring it does not happen again will continue beyond this campaign.”
While Republicans opposed Hart’s quest to overturn the results, even some Democrats, like Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips, objected to the effort.
A.J. Kaufman is an Alpha News columnist. His work has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Florida Sun-Sentinel, Indianapolis Star, Israel National News, Orange County Register, St. Cloud Times, Star-Tribune, and across AIM Media Midwest and the Internet. Kaufman previously worked as a school teacher and military historian.