Editor: 

Doubt about the result fuels the appeal by Clinton County’s Rita Hart concerning her race for the US House of Representatives. She would accept the voters choosing someone else but not leaving legal votes uncounted. Iowans of the 2nd Congressional District have the right to decide who will represent them in congress, and they have decided. But we don’t know whether they picked Hart or Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa. 

There are 22 legal but uncounted ballots even though Miller-Meeks has been provisionally seated. In most elections, where someone wins by thousands or even hundreds of votes, 22 votes wouldn’t be reason for doubt. But in the provisional count, Miller-Meeks is ahead by only six votes out of nearly 400,000 cast. 

So Hart has appealed to the House of Representatives, asking that those votes be counted, and now Miller-Meeks has filed a response. That response does not criticize the 22 uncounted ballots but does not count them either. It just claims Hart should have appealed in Iowa. However the timelines in Iowa do not allow that and a direct appeal to the US House is within the law. 

To announce a result while legal votes remain uncounted is to disenfranchise a group of voters larger than Miller-Meeks’ lead, Refusing to count them is a denial of democracy.

Thomas Gibbons

Clinton