Iowa 2nd Congressional race results remain narrow, state expecting thousands of outstanding mail-in ballots

Published: Nov. 4, 2020 at 9:15 PM CST
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The Iowa 2nd Congressional District race is too close to call. Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks leads Rita Hart by a slim margin.

A record breaking 1.7 million people voted in Iowa for the 2020 general election, surpassing a previous state record set in 2012. Votes are expected to trickle into county offices over the next several days after more than one million Iowans voted absentee.

The race is separated by a few hundred votes and both candidates sit at 50 percent, but the Iowa Secretary of State’s office says district two still has 12,300 absentee ballots that have not been returned.

As the wait continues, both campaigns released statements. Republican Miller-Meeks' campaign said:

“The official canvass will not take place until Monday and Tuesday when the 24 county election boards meet across the congressional district. Our campaign has received and tallied votes from every county auditor, double checked those totals and compared them with the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office. We are confident Dr. Miller-Meeks' winning margin will stand. Questions about a recount are premature until county officials conduct their official canvasses next week.”

The campaign for Democratic candidate Rita Hart said:

“Ballots are outstanding and over the coming days we will ensure that Iowans' voices are heard and that remaining votes are counted. Iowa election law is incredibly clear that absentee ballots postmarked by the day before the election and received by a county auditor by November 9, 2020 must be counted.”

According to Iowa law, any campaign can call for a recount. They have up to three days after county canvass to request the recount, and it must be completed within 18 days. If the margin of victory separating the candidates is within one percent of the total number of votes cast, the state covers the costs, but if outside the margin, all costs associated with the recount must be covered by the campaign.

With the deadline for mail-in ballots still several days away, final results could look differently than they do now. Iowa law says absentee ballots that were postmarked by Monday, and arrive by noon on Nov. 9th, will be counted in official results.

Iowa election results remain unofficial until canvassing is completed and the results are certified on Nov. 30th.

According to the Iowa Secretary of State office, 76 percent of registered voters in Iowa took part in this election, one of the highest turnout rates in the country.

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