The results are in from one of the closest congressional races in U.S. history — and after fighting to get a counting error reversed, the GOP contender is the apparent winner by a margin of dozens of votes.
That race was for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, where Republican candidate Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks has declared herself the victor, as reported by Fox News.
“Very descriptive and very detailed”
Miller-Meeks’ reaction to the declared win came on Thursday morning in a segment of Fox & Friends shortly after the vote count gave her a 34-vote advantage over Democratic challenger Rita Hart.
At that time, the race had not been officially called for either candidate. Nevertheless, Miller-Meeks noted the ebb and flow of the race appeared to have landed in her favor by a razor-thin margin.
“The races in Iowa are very descriptive and very detailed, so, on election night, we were ahead in votes, but, there is a process of provisional ballots and absentee ballots that have to be counted,” she told co-host Ainsley Earhardt.
The GOP candidate went on to describe the audits and countywide canvasses mandated by state law prior to the certification of election results by county boards and ultimately submitted to the Iowa secretary of state to be declared official. Those canvasses had been completed earlier in the week, she said.
“We were ahead in votes so that makes us the winner of this election,” Miller-Meeks said, according to Fox. “That doesn’t mean that there’s still not processes that still have to go through.”
“We wanted to know what the process was”
The Republican also provided some credence to concerns about irregularities in other races, expounding on one error in Lucas County that, when corrected, helped her establish a lead in the race. For its part, Hart’s campaign requested a full recount in all of the state’s counties.
“We wanted information, transparency, and we wanted to know that all of the votes were counted,” Miller-Meeks said. “We had been ahead and within a matter of hours, we had a subtraction of 406 votes, which then put us behind our opponent. We did not make any comments about any malicious intent, but we wanted to know what the process was, how that happened.”
During the audit in Lucas County, she said that officials “found that in one of their precincts that there were 217 ballots passed” for her campaign “that were not reported to the secretary of state on election night and 54 ballots for my opponent.”
The disparity was enough to put her ahead of her opponent in the incredibly close race.
After the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported on Thursday that the results from all 24 counties had been certified, Miller-Meeks again declared victory in a public statement: “I express my heartfelt gratitude to the voters of Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District and acknowledge my opponent Rita Hart’s grace and positive demeanor during this challenging campaign. The election is over and it is time to move forward together and focus on the priorities that will best serve Iowans.”