Former State Senator Rita Hart, D-Wheatfield, last week, decided to contest the Iowa 2nd Congressional District’s certified results in Congress, not Iowa’s courts.
After the State Canvassing Board certified Congresswoman-Elect Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ victory in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, winning by just six votes after a recount, Hart filed a petition with the U.S. House Committee on Administration under the Federal Contested Election Act.
This action will allow the Democratic majority House to set aside Miller-Meeks’ victory and seat Hart instead.
While Hart was legally able to do this, it is shady to entrust the results of Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District to partisan politicians, especially in light of House Democrats seeing their majority shrink after Election Day.
Iowans spoke, and while it was close, remarkably close with over 394,000 votes cast, Miller-Meeks is the winner of a fair election after a comprehensive recount requested by Hart. If she was dissatisfied with the results, she could have appealed to Iowa’s Judicial Branch. Iowa law allows a special elections court consisting of the Iowa Supreme Court’s Chief Justice and four district court judges to rule on complaints in such circumstances.
Instead of allowing a non-partisan panel of judges to decide whether or not Hart’s complaint has merit, she placed the outcome of this race in the hands of partisans interested in making certain their majority does not shrink further.
Iowa’s Democrats who have spoken out about President Trump’s attempts to overturn the presidential election results have defended Hart’s decision. They shouldn’t, not only is it hypocritical, but this path to “victory” insults Iowa’s voters and Iowa’s electoral process.
Should her challenge prevail and Hart becomes the Iowa 2nd Congressional District’s next representative, Iowans should remember this betrayal in 2022.