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Governor says Democrats are trying to federalize elections

DES MOINES — Governor Kim Reynolds says the outcome of Iowa’s contested second congressional district race could be a harbinger of efforts to federalize U.S. elections.

During a news conference at Iowa GOP headquarters, Reynolds again blasted Democrat Rita Hart for asking a U.S. House committee to review ballots cast in her race against Republican Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks.

“Rita Hart’s request that the House ignore Iowa law, it truly is a forecast of what’s to come,” Reynolds said. “If Democrats get their way and HR1 becomes law, if that happens, then state election law everywhere will be wiped away.”

House Democrats passed House Resolution 1 earlier this month and, among other things, it seeks to bar states from limiting the ability to vote by mail.

Iowa GOP chairman Jeff Kaufmann said Hart’s decision to ask a U.S. House committee to review the second district race isn’t illegal, but he said it’s immoral.

“This is personal to me,” Kaufmann said. “I’m in the second district. I voted for Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Nancy Pelosi and Cindy Axne should not trump my vote.”

At least a half dozen Democrats in the U.S. House have publicly expressed concerns about overturning Miller-Meeks’ election after former President Trump pressed to have congress overturn his loss to President Biden. Hart’s campaign has identified 22 legally cast ballots that were not counted.

“These are not hypothetical voters. These are not theoretical voters,” Marc Elias, an attorney for the Hart campaign, said this week. “These are actual people who live in Iowa’s second congressional district who had their right to vote denied due to problems with the election administration or election judge error.”

The U.S. House has considered more than 100 petitions like Hart’s over the past eight decades and wound up overturning the results in just four cases.

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