Draw Straws? Flip A Coin? No, In Iowa They Settle Close Races By Picking Names Out Of Hat, And They Might Have To In One Congressional Race.

The Capitol is seen in Washington, Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, as the House and Senate return to work. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

As the nation’s closest U.S. House race, Iowa’s 2nd District, continued through Wednesday’s recount, the idea of pulling the winner’s name from a hat or a bowl gained traction. 

Why? That is the method to break a tie in Iowa political elections–and with a narrow margin in the contest between Republican Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Democrat Rita Hart, it’s something to consider.

During the recount, Miller-Meeks saw her 50-vote lead cut to nine votes out of almost 400,000 cast.

”It could drop further and it could even be a tie,” former Johnson County GOP Chairman Bill Keettel told Newsmax.

According to the Des Moines Register, ”Hart netted 26 votes in Scott County after the recount board adjourned Wednesday without addressing a discrepancy in the number of absentee ballots recorded.”

There were roughly 5,000 votes remaining to be counted from Clinton County, where Hart served as state senator there and owns a farm. The Register reported that Clinton will complete its count on Saturday. A state board is to meet by Monday’s deadline to certify the results. 

The candidates are vying to replace Democrat Rep. Dave Loebsack, who is retiring after seven terms.

Hart had requested a districtwide recount after initial certifications showed her trailing by 47 votes. Reporting errors already have caused the lead to change hands repeatedly.

In Scott County, the most populous in the district, Hart’s gain of 26 new votes has not been certified by canvassers because there were 131 more absentee votes discovered.

And what would a 2020 election be without legal challenges? 

There likely will be a filing from the candidate with fewer votes, and Miller-Meeks’ lawyer Alan Ostergren has already suggested the process used to count ballots in Scott is illegal and violates Iowa law. 

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