Rita Hart answers a question during a debate with Mariannette Miller-Meeks in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, October 8, 2020.

Photo:

Rebecca F. Miller/Associated Press

In recent weeks, Democrats have talked a lot about the sanctity of election results, but their principles in this regard can be malleable depending on who wins. This week, a House of Representatives committee took the first step in an effort to remove a Republican from Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District from office and install a Democrat in his place.

GOP reporter Mariannette Miller-Mix.

won the race in November by 47 votes in the first count and by six votes after a recount of the ballots by lawyers. The Democrat

Rita Hart.

wants the House of Representatives to exercise its constitutional power as the electoral judge of its members to conduct a recount and annul the results.

The last time the House of Representatives overturned a state-recognized election in Indiana’s bloody Eighth Congressional District was in 1985, and the last time it replaced a sitting Congressman with his opponent was in 1938. In both cases, the House of Representatives was controlled by Democrats.

In the memo from Ms. Hart to the House Administration Committee states that 22 ballots should have been counted but were not. Miller-Meeks responded that the lawsuit should be dismissed because Hart refused to file her lawsuit in December with the Iowa special court that was supposed to resolve the disputed election.

On Wednesday, the Democratic majority of the committee sided with Hart and Miller-Mix filed a motion to dismiss. Remarks by the Committee Chair,

Reporter Zoe Lofgren

California, assuming Democrats are willing to proceed with the process.

Lofgren said the American people deserve to know who really won this election, as if the results hadn’t already been authenticated by a 5-0 vote of the Iowa Board of Elections, which consists of three Republicans and two Democrats. The predecessor of the House Administrative Committee provided that the results would be considered accurate until challenged by evidence of irregularities and fraud.

But now the committee seems intent on doing a third vote count, this time with Washington Democrats setting the rules. It requested both parties to list the ballots which, in their opinion, should or should not have been included. This invites Hart’s lawyers to cast more ballots that they think will favor her side, and forces Miller-Mix to do the same, even though she is already the legally elected representative.

Hart’s lawyers could appeal to a five-judge Iowa court, which can apply state law to things like signatures and seals on ballots. If the Democrats in the House wanted to avoid being dragged into the post-election controversy, they would simply say that the state process should be treated with respect.

This order was to be followed by the 6. January will have become particularly clear. But the speaker

Nancy Pelosi.

said Thursday that a vote in the House to reverse the vote is possible. The Democrats may no longer have the large majority they had in 1985 and 1938, but their current small majority is united, willing and determined.

The party is about to set a precedent, for the first time in a generation, that a partisan majority in Congress can ignore officials and recount a narrow vote according to its own preferences. All their talk about respecting the voters only seems to apply when

Donald Trump

challenges the results. This blatant power play by the Democrats will fuel even more partisan bitterness and further undermine voter confidence in the election.

Correction: The previous version said Rita Hart won second place. Iowa Congressional District through 2021.

Potomac Watch: This week, Democrats put aside their concerns about absentee voting and ballots and voted for H.R. 1, waiving their states’ right to set voting rules. Image: Lenin Nolly/Zuma Wire

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Appeared in print at 13. March 2021.

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