Mahaska County Recount Goes Into Uncharted Territory


The recount was underway on Monday in Mahaska County. Several people worked many hours to make sure every vote had been counted and counted correctly.


Oskaloosa, Iowa – When the votes were tallied on Nov. 3, it became that one race was going to be a nail biter: the race for US House of Representatives for Iowa’s Second Congressional District. That race featured Democrat Rita Hart and Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks. Initial returns on Election Night showed Miller-Meeks with a narrow victory, so much so that Miller-Meeks declared victory in the early morning hours of November 4th. However, in the week after the election, as counties sought to certify their results, discrepancies in two separate counties saw the lead see-saw, and ultimately reduce Miller-Meeks’ lead to a mere 47 votes. When it became apparent how close the final result would be, Hart requested a recount in all 24 counties of Iowa’s Second Congressional District.

The recount in Mahaska County was recently completed, as a three-person recount committee reviewed over 11,000 ballots in Mahaska County. Sue Brown, Mahaska County Auditor and Elections Commissioner said that the recount committee set the parameters for how the ballots would be recounted in Mahaska County, with some guidance from the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office.

“They are running [the ballots] through the scanner, that was their choice to do them through the scanner,” Brown said. “We’re looking at all of the precincts and the absentees, and checking the results, based on what we had from Election Night,” she added.

A total of 11,458 ballots were cast in Mahaska County, and the committee is charged with recounting each ballot. Brown said that the committee could scan around 1,500 ballots per hour, meaning the recount had the possibility to take more than one day.
“If they decide they want to hand count something, or look at something beyond, it might take longer,” Brown said at the time.

Brown said that the recount is a first for her.

“I’ve not had a recount done since I’ve been here,” she said. “It’s going well,” Brown added of the recount effort

There had been some controversy in other counties over which guidelines to follow during the recount. Brown emphasized that her office did not make any decisions on how to recount the ballots and that decision fell on the shoulders of the members of the recount committee.

“The recount board made their choice as to which they wanted to do. They could do all hand count, or all machine, or mixture,” she said.

Results of the recount were expected to be certified by the Mahaska County Supervisors at a meeting on Wednesday, November 25.

The Mahaska County Board of Supervisors certified the recount that resulted in two additional votes for Rita Hart.

The 2nd Congressional District now awaits the final results of this tight race.

Posted by on Nov 25 2020. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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