More Democrats Express Alarm Over House Leadership’s Bid to Overturn Iowa Election Results

March 25, 2021 Updated: March 25, 2021

Several Democratic lawmakers have expressed alarm at House Democrats’ bid to overturn the results of Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District election in favor of Democrat Rita Hart.

“I’m sorry, I cannot support overturning an election, especially given everything that’s gone on,” Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), a swing district Democrat, told the “Skullduggery” podcast. “I can’t turn around and vote to decertify something that’s been stamped and approved in Iowa.”

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa) defeated Hart by six votes during the Nov. 3, 2020, election. Hart asked the House Administration Committee, led by longtime Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), to investigate the election.

Other Democrat members of the House have expressed concern over the move.

Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) said March 22 that the “election result was certified by the State of Iowa, and Rep. Miller-Meeks was sworn in nearly three months ago … it’s time to move on.”

“I have said before, in connection with the 2020 presidential election, legislators should be heeding states’ certifications of their elections. Unless there is rampant error and substantial evidence thereof, I do not believe it is the role of House members to dictate the outcome of elections,” Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.) told reporters this week.

And Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) said Democratic leaders in the House need to abandon their pursuit of investigating and potentially overturning the Iowa congressional result.

“Losing a House election by six votes is painful for Democrats,” Phillips wrote on Twitter. “But overturning it in the House would be even more painful for America.

“Just because a majority can, does not mean a majority should.”

In an interview this month, Miller-Meeks defended her victory, which was certified by the state of Iowa, and said there should be outrage over what’s happening in the House.

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Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) addresses the media after holding a constituent community conversation at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., on Dec. 16, 2019. (Carlos Osorio/AP Photo)

“Everybody across the country should be outraged by this,” Miller-Meeks said in a Fox News interview. “I certainly have been encouraged by those people across the country who have reached out to me and told me they’re contacting their representatives to let them know their displeasure.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested, during a news conference earlier in March, that Democrats are open to overturn the results of the election.

“Well, I respect the work of the committee,” she told reporters on March 12. “I did see, as you saw in the press, what they decided to—and they were following my, as I read it, the requirements of the law as to how you go forward. And how you go forward is the path you’re on and we’ll see where that takes us. But there could be a scenario to that extent. Yes.”

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Mariannette Miller-Meeks answers a question during a debate in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Oct. 8, 2020. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette via AP)

Lofgren, meanwhile, explained that due to the slim margin of victory, it warrants an investigation; she dismissed a motion filed by Miller-Meeks to throw out Hart’s challenge.

“The margin separating the two candidates was only six votes out of almost 400,000 cast: less than 1/6 of 1 percent. That’s six votes—not 6,000; not 600; not 60 or even 16—just six fewer votes than we have members of this committee,” Lofgren told panel members. “It should not be surprising that any candidate in these circumstances—with a margin this close—would seek to exercise their rights under the law to contest the results.”