Iowa House Republicans are ending their review of a contested Statehouse race separated by nine votes, arguing that a set of rejected ballots at the heart of the challenge shouldn’t be opened or counted. The announcement Wednesday by a key Republican lawmaker greatly diminishes Democrat Kayla Koether’s chances of getting the Iowa Legislature to accept 29 rejected mail-in ballots in the House District 55 race. Rep. Michael Bergan, R-Dorchester, was declared the winner in the race and took his seat this year. Rep. Steven Holt, a Denison Republican overseeing a five-member, GOP-led special election committee, said Republicans believe election law doesn’t allow the ballots to be reviewed. “We lack the legal authority to open these ballots,” Holt said.
One of the two Democrats on the election committee called Republicans’ review process a “sham” because the committee didn’t call witnesses to testify.
“The Republican decision to go ahead and cut off debate and to not have witnesses or testimony is a sham,” said Rep. Brian Meyer, D-Des Moines, who believes the ballots should be counted. “The whole thing’s been a kangaroo court.”
Full Article: Iowa House Republicans to end review of contested election.