Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate warned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to “reject any attempts to overturn the will of Iowa voters,” in a March 26 letter that addressed the attention being paid to the contested election for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District.
The contest between U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-I.A.) and challenger Rita Hart has been the subject of headlines since Hart’s claim that Iowa law didn’t allow sufficient time for her to address the challenge.
In his letter, Pate contended that “The recount boards in all 24 counties were bipartisan, comprised of one representative from the Miller-Meeks campaign, one representative from the Hart campaign, and a third member who was agreed upon by the other two representatives or appointed by a district court judge.”
The Iowa secretary of state also stated that the questions should be put to rest because the Hart campaign “signed off on the recount procedures and results in all 24 counties.”
“Following the recount, the bipartisan State Canvassing Board unanimously accepted the results and officially certified the election. At the end of this bipartisan process, Mariannette Miller-Meeks won: 196,964 to 196,958.”
Miller-Meeks’ legal team weighed in saying in their reply brief to Lofgren that “there is nothing principled” about Hart’s request.
“The danger of what Hart proposes cannot be overstated,” they said. “One cannot change the rules after the election was conducted without favoring one candidate or the other – and without destroying the public’s confidence in our election system.”
It cannot be ignored that invalidating Miller-Meeks’ claim to the House seat would undeniably strengthen Pelosi’s hold on the majority in the same house of congress. It’s undoubtedly in Pelosi’s best interest to side with Hart, and therefore it seems to be a larger opening for corruption.
The other side of the question is whether Hart’s claim could leave open questions about other election results around the country, including the hotly contested 2020 presidential election.