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Iowa Secretary of State: ‘Iowans Should Have the Final Say in All Iowa Elections, Not Washington’

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Paul Pate, Iowa’s Secretary of State, wrote a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in support of Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) by denouncing Rita Hart’s efforts to overturn a state-certified House race.

“Iowans take their voting very seriously and I firmly believe we are the best state in the nation for civic engagement,” Pate wrote. “Despite the pandemic, the people of Iowa made their voices heard in record numbers in 2020” in the primary and general election of 2020. Pate said he is proud of everyone, from the voters, to the poll workers, and county officials.

Pate continued to write, “The general election and recounts were conducted in a bipartisan manner,” the state had 12 Republican and 12 Democrat Auditors for its Seconds Congressional District.

The recount boards for all of the counties were made to be “bipartisan, comprised of one representative from the Miller-Meeks campaign, one representative from the Hart campaign, and a third member who was was agreed upon by the other two representatives or appointed by a district judge.” After all the recounts had been completed, the Hart campaign signed off on all of the procedures and results.

#IA02 update: @IowaSOS sends letter to @SpeakerPelosi asking her to respect Iowa’s bipartisan recount process and state-certified election results declaring @RepMMM the winner by a historically close 6-votes that @RitaHartIA is contesting b4 the US House. https://t.co/oS3xXWWRaa pic.twitter.com/f8NwhWiGB6

— Tom Barton (@tjbarton83) March 29, 2021

Pate continued:

Iowa law provided for a nonpartisan process if a candidate for federal office wishes to contest the results of an election. A panel of Iowa District Court judges, presided over and appointed by the chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court were ready, willing, and able to facilitate a fair and thorough contest process.

Every step of the way, the administration of Iowa’s elections is either bipartisan or nonpartisan. Unfortunately, Rita Hart chose to bypass the nonpartisan Iowa process and take her challenge to the U.S. House of Representatives where her political party has the power to grant her a seat she did not win.

Ms. Hart has stated that her reason for failing to give Iowans a voice in this process is that Iowa law does not allow for sufficient time to review her claims. That assertion is in stark contrast to the fact that Iowa’s Judicial Branch has always gone above and beyond to issue expeditious rulings in cases concerning election law.

In contrast, Pate wrote that “Hart’s campaign should have exhausted all state avenues before asking a federal chamber controlled by her party to make the final determination.”

Iowans should have the final say in all Iowa elections, not Washington, D.C., politicians, Pate wrote.

Pate wrote to Pelosi: Miller-Meeks is the representative for Iowa’s Second Congressional District. “Hart is asking you to ‘depart from Iowa law’ and give her an election victory she did not earn,” Miller-Meeks will “continue to do the job Iowans elected her to do.”