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Democrat who lost Iowa congressional race by 6 votes asks Congress to throw out the certified results of the election
Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call

Democrat who lost Iowa congressional race by 6 votes asks Congress to throw out the certified results of the election

Sound familiar?

Maybe you've heard this one before.

The loser of a close 2020 election is asking the House of Representatives to throw out certified election results and name the conquered candidate the victor.

No, this time it's not President Donald Trump (or one of his allies) — it's the loser of the extremely close election in Iowa's 2nd Congressional District.

When Trump and his team have made similar requests of the House or the legislatures of various states to overrule the certified Electoral College results, they have been roundly mocked and criticized by political opponents.

Now failed Iowa Democratic House candidate Rita Hart is making life difficult for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and other Democrats in Congress.

What's going on?

Hart famously lost her race to Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks by just six votes — 196,964 to 196,958.

Hart's team has repeatedly claimed that the election was essentially stolen by Miller-Meeks who somehow was able to prevent some votes from being counted.

Hart campaign manager Zach Meunier alleged late last month that "the Miller-Meeks campaign has sought to keep legitimate votes from being counted — pushing to disqualify and limit the number of Iowans whose votes are counted," the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported.

And now Hart is following up on those allegations, not by taking the appropriate legal steps and making challenges in court, but instead by filling a Notice of Contest with the U.S. House of Representatives. Hart wants the body to intervene and throw out the results of the election, which were certified by the state on Nov. 30.

In an announcement posted to Twitter Tuesday morning, Hart said, "Today, I am officially asking the House to ensure every Iowan's voice is heard in #IA02. 22 ballots remain uncounted from Election Night & thousands of others that were never examined. We've got to count the votes & get this right."

The press release included in Hart's tweet claimed that the 22 "legally-cast, uncounted votes" would be enough to put her ahead by nine votes.

Hart's petition to the House, the Des Moines Register reported, calls for an investigation on two counts: first, on the alleged 22 legally cast but uncounted votes; second, that the recount boards in the district's 24 counties — which ultimately showed Miller-Meeks to have been the rightful winner — used irregular procedures.

The notice claims that Hart would have netted 15 votes had the allegedly wrongfully excluded 22 votes been included.

It also alleges "the recount itself failed to comply with Iowa law and the U.S. Constitution" because each county's recount board conducted its own recount and failed to do so consistently across the district.

According to Hart's complaint, Congress needs see that a "uniform recount" is conducted and must avoid "prematurely ending this contest" in a way that would "disenfranchise Iowa voters and award the congressional seat to the candidate who received fewer lawful votes."

"Federal law does not permit such an outcome," the notice states.

"Everyone has acknowledged that there are uncounted votes left and, after reviewing those ballots and making sure they are counted, it will be clear that I have won this election," Hart said, according to the Register. "It is crucial to me to make sure that this bipartisan review by the U.S. House is fair. Iowans deserve to know that the candidate who earned the most votes is seated."

"I am that candidate," she claimed.

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