A candidate for Iowa House District 55, in northeast Iowa, is continuing her fight, to allow 19-absentee ballots to be counted, and added to the election total, despite prior decisions that the ballots are not valid, because they lack a postmark.
Democrat Kayla Koether has filed a petition with the Iowa Legislature to contest her election loss to Republican incumbent Michael Bergan. The official results show Bergan won by 9 votes but there are 29 absentee ballots that remain uncounted in that result.
A judge court judge tossed her lawsuit, which demanded a recount. The judge said the Iowa Legislature, not the courts, decide on contested election results once the race is certified.
“There are at least 29 Northeast Iowans who cast their ballots on time- in good faith- and followed the law, yet elections officials have refused to count their votes," Koether said in a release. "Ensuring that all legal votes are counted is foundational to our democracy and to our faith in our elections."
Secretary of State Paul Pate says the judge's ruling confirms his office's position that the bar codes did not count as a legal post mark and that it is up to the Iowa House to determine what to do now.
Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann released the following statement on the recent court decision regarding the Iowa House District 55 race:
"This might be surprising coming from me, but I agree with the Democrats. In court, they identified that they lack sufficient facts for standing to challenge the contest before the House of Representatives. The election has been certified, the court dismissed their case, it’s time to move on."