Last week, online social media reports suggested Democrats serving on the Committee on House Administration might take the unprecedented step of seeking to overturn certified election results in rural Iowa.
The contest for the state's 2nd District caused more than 394,000 voters in the Hawkeye State to cast ballots. After contesting Republican Dr. Mairannette Miller-Meeks narrow 47-vote victory and obtaining a recount, unsuccessful candidate Democrat Rita Hart lost by 6 votes.
The House is readying to wade into another election integrity fight — this time to decide the legitimacy of one of its own members.
With a contested presidential race and impeachment crisis behind it, Congress is turning to a Democratic candidate’s claim that Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks was improperly declared the winner of their match-up last fall. That candidate, Rita Hart, has formally contested her 6-vote loss — one of the closest federal elections in recent history — possibly placing lawmakers in the uncomfortable position of having to determine whether it seated the wrong woman in January.
The House Administration Committee gathered virtually Friday afternoon to finalize the process by which it will adjudicate Hart’s claim, which was filed under the Federal Contested Elections Act. The committee has been largely silent since Hart first made her contest in December, but the hearing suggests that it is preparing to review the matter further.
Instead of following President Trump's example and asking a court to review the results, Ms. Hart's attorneys filed a petition with the Democrat-controlled Committee on House Administration instead. Now, after her Republican opponent has already received a seat in Congress, the unsuccessful candidate hopes partisans led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi will circumvent Iowa law and hand the seat to her. Incredibly, the Committee failed to dismiss the petition.