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Margin Narrows In 2nd Congressional District As More Counties Wrap Up Their Recounts

A Clark County election worker scans mail ballots following Nevada's June election.
Ethan Miller
Getty Images
A Clark County election worker scans mail ballots following Nevada's June election.

The majority of counties in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District have finished their recounts, but not all. As of Tuesday evening, unofficial results from the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office showed Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks up 37 votes over Democrat Rita Hart, but that margin is expected to continue to narrow.

As of Tuesday evening, the Iowa Secretary of State’s office was reporting recount results from 20 of the 24 counties in the district. But Scott and Clinton Counties, two of the largest counties in the district, aren't reflected in that 37 vote margin.

The boards of supervisors in Johnson and Scott Counties were both slated to recanvass their results Wednesday. Scott County's recanvass has since been postponed until Monday Nov. 30 at 9 a.m.

Johnson County Auditor Travis Weipert announced Tuesday that following the recount there, Hart netted three votes. By Tuesday evening the results were reflected on the secretary of state's website, though Weipert noted that tally is unofficial until the recanvass by the supervisors.

Weipert praised his staff for putting in the work to facilitate the recount, the scope of which he said was unprecedented in his professional experience. The process in Johnson County encompassed some 80,000 ballots and followed what had already been a complex and challenging election season.

“My office, I think we’ve had one weekend off since the end of September. So, and 12-hour days…there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes,” Weipert said. “I thought my staff did an amazing job considering the amount of hours we’ve been working.

The Quad City Times has reported that Hart netted 30 votes in Scott County, which would narrow Miller-Meeks’ lead considerably. Scott County Auditor Roxanna Moritz had not returned a call from IPR by publishing time.

Meanwhile Hart’s home county of Clinton isn’t expected to finish its tally until Saturday, according to Auditor Eric Van Lancker.

“They still have approximately five to six thousand absentee ballots yet to finish up. They plan on meeting again starting Saturday morning and they should be able to finish up in just a few hours on Saturday,” Van Lancker said.

So far, Hart has netted one vote there.

“But again we still have five to six thousand absentee ballots yet to go through,” Van Lancker noted.

With a handful of other counties still working to finalize their tallies, the race remains unsettled. Out of more than 394,000 votes cast, it is the closest federal race in the country.

Results are unofficial until the state canvass of votes on Monday.

Editor's Note: this story was updated at 7:40 pm on Tuesday to reflect that Scott County has postponed its recanvass until Nov. 30.