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Letter: Hand-count ballots in District 2

Letter: Hand-count ballots in District 2

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America's elections are a critical component of our democracy. The accurate counting of all eligible ballots is key to the integrity of our elections. Iowa's paper trail make this possible.

In the November election for Iowa's District 2 U.S. House seat, ballots in two counties were recounted; according to the Iowa Secretary of State one county originally had an overcount of ballots while another had an undercount. This was followed by full district recount that revealed flaws in the Iowa recount system. In the end, the election outcome was certified — with a six-count margin — despite unresolved, conflicting vote totals.

Subsequently, candidate Rita Hart filed a notice of contest under the Federal Contested Elections Act. It is my understanding that her filing specifically requested a hand recount of all ballots, including 22 legal ballots uncounted on Election Day. She filed her contest under the Federal Contested Elections Act because an all-inclusive hand recount of ballots could not be completed in Iowa within the time constraints of Iowa's established procedures. Typically a contested election is first addressed by a bipartisan, three-member task force of the U.S. House Committee on Administration. If a hand recount occurs the election outcome may or may not change.

A hand recount of ballots will assure that all eligible votes have been counted and verified. Further it will validate the steps of the American election process and the result itself. Both are testaments to the integrity of America's elections.

Roberta Churchill



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