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Iowa Election Challenge Alarms Some House Democrats


WASHINGTON—More House Democrats are expressing concern over potentially having to vote later this year on whether to overturn a Republican congresswoman’s razor-thin victory in Iowa.

The House Administration Committee opted on party lines earlier this month to review a challenge from Democratic candidate Rita Hart disputing her loss by six votes to GOP Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks. The Iowa State Board of Canvassers certified Ms. Miller-Meeks’s narrow win following a recount of the full district. But the legal team of Ms. Hart, who is challenging the results under the Federal Contested Elections Act, said there are 22 valid ballots that were never counted, which could reverse the outcome.

Some House Democrats have recently shared their concerns with Democratic leaders over having to potentially vote to overturn a state-certified election in Iowa and conveyed to them that they might not have enough votes to prevail, according to lawmakers and aides. Democrats currently hold a narrow 219-211 majority and can lose no more than three votes on measures opposed by all Republicans.

“Losing a House election by six votes is painful for Democrats. But overturning it in the House would be even more painful for America,” Rep. Dean Phillips (D., Minn.) said on Twitter this week. “Just because a majority can, does not mean a majority should.”

The Constitution gives states the authority to administer elections, but says each chamber of Congress is the final judge of the elections and qualifications of its own members.



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