House takes preliminary steps in deciding 2nd District election contest

The U.S. House of Representatives is taking preliminary steps in deciding how they will judge Democrat Rita Hart's appeal of her six-vote loss to Republican Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks in Iowa's second Congressional District.

On Friday, the House Administration Committee met to set procedures and rules for deciding election contests filed during this Congress. Hart is one of two candidates challenging their losses directly before Congress, with Republican Jim Oberweis filing a challenge in his loss to Democrat Lauren Underwood in Illinois.

Rep. Miller-Meeks has requested the committee dismiss Hart's challenge to the election results. If the committee chooses not to dismiss the case, campaigns can submit evidence, ballots can be requested, or in-person investigations could take place in the 2nd district.

Chair of the Administration Committee Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) did not discuss the case in depth on Friday, while Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-IL) said Hart's contest has no merit and could set a dangerous precedent.

"It would be one of the greatest mistakes this House makes," Davis said. "To take up an election contest where the candidate sidestepped the courts, and instead turned to a partisan process in the House, because they knew they could not win in any other way."

In a statement on Twitter, Hart campaign manager Zachary Meunier said "We are glad to see the House Committee on Administration taking bipartisan action towards ensuring that every legally-cast vote is counted in this race and that all Iowans’ voices are heard."

The Iowa Board of Canvass officially certified Miller Meeks's win over Hart back in November of 2020.

Friday's committee meeting and resolutions can be found on the House Administration Committee website.

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