Following an election season characterized by hotly contested races and widespread questions about vote counting irregularities, it now appears that a previously-certified victory may yet be overturned.
According to Fox News, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has signaled the possibility that the election of Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks to Congress may be upended in favor of Democrat Rita Hart, who lost by just six votes and petitioned for a review of the results by the House Committee on Administration.
The margin of victory in the 2020 race for Iowa’s 2nd congressional district seat was historically tight, with Miller-Meeks prevailing by just 0.0015 percentage points – a result certified after a recount was conducted, according to the Des Moines Register.
Despite the enhanced efforts to verify the accuracy of the count, Hart lodged a challenge with the House committee, arguing that her campaign was aware of 22 voters who cast legal ballots that, “due to a string of errors,” did not make their way into the final total.
Hart’s challenge has found an ally in Pelosi, with the speaker, who bluntly declared in December, “the issue relating to Iowa is an issue for the House Administration Committee,” further stating, “the House decides who it will seat,” National Review reported.
When asked on Thursday if she believed Hart’s effort to unseat Miller-Meeks could succeed, Pelosi replied, “of course, of course,” adding:
I respect the work of the committee…we’ll see where that takes us. There could be a scenario to that extent.
While it is technically true that the Constitution provides that “each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members,” only one election has been overturned in this manner over the course of the last 35 years.
On Wednesday, the Committee on Administration met to take up a motion filed by Miller-Meeks to dismiss Hart’s challenge once and for all, eventually voting to table consideration of the request and to send information requests to both sides of the issue regarding the “procedures, legal principles, and timelines that should control the course of this case,” as National Review also reported.
Given their likely unease with the narrow margin by which House Democrats retained the majority in November, it is, sadly, not terribly surprising that Pelosi and company would resort to these kinds of tactics to wrestle another seat out of the GOP’s hands.