Miller-Meeks says ‘election is over,’ Hart ‘confident’ in getting seat

Published: Nov. 10, 2020 at 9:42 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2020 at 9:43 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Both campaigns for Iowa’s Second Congressional District issued statements on Tuesday evening following the canvass of votes from last Tuesday’s election, continuing the political jockeying in a race that is separated by a razor’s edge.

Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks leads Democrat Rita Hart by 40 votes, 196,852 to 196,812, in the race for the U.S. House seat being vacated by Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack. There were 706 write-in votes in the district.

The race has not been projected by major news organizations, including the Associated Press which will be waiting until the vote is certified by the state on November 30.

Miller-Meeks, who led on election night but lost the lead for a period of time in the interim as votes were counted, said that it was “time to move forward” now that the canvass was over.

“I express to the voters my heartfelt gratitude and acknowledge Rita Hart’s grace and positive demeanor during this campaign," Miller-Meeks said, in the statement. "The election is over, and it is time to move forward together and focus on the priorities that will best serve Iowans.”

Hart’s campaign issued a statement from Zach Meunier, the campaign’s manager, countering the claim that the congressional race was over.

“As we have said repeatedly, it is critical that Iowans' voices are heard and the votes are accurately counted. The vote totals in this race continue to fluctuate, and both Iowa officials and independent news organizations have made it clear that the race is too close to call," Meunier said, in the statement. "Iowa is a state that values election integrity and Mariannette Miller-Meeks' campaign’s attempts to usurp this process undermines that integrity. We appreciate the hard work of our poll workers and election officials to accurately count all legal ballots and the votes, and are confident by the end of this process that Rita Hart will be the next congresswoman from Iowa’s Second District.”

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate announced on Tuesday he has ordered an audit of the unofficial election results in one Lucas County precinct, and a countywide recount of all results.

Candidates in major general elections in Iowa can request a recount from the Secretary of State by 5:00 p.m. on the third day after a county canvasses its votes. Hart, in a video posted on the candidate’s social media pages, said that her campaign would “check back in” after the canvass was completed.

In the event of a tie in an election in Iowa, the candidates' names are put into a hat and the one drawn is the winner, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

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