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IA Sec. of State: Counting error puts Democrat ahead in Iowa US House race

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Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials say a vote-counting mistake has reversed the leader of a southeast Iowa congressional race.

Preliminary results had shown Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks leading the open U.S. House race over Democrat Rita Hart by 282 votes out of more than 393,000 cast.

However, Jasper County elections officials spotted a problem Thursday, and after working with the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office determined the numbers had been inaccurately reported from one precinct.

During a news conference, Pate said his office has gotten the correct results from Jasper County and posted them. He believes the second results are accurate and the updated numbers in the 2nd Congressional District race reflect updated numbers from Jasper County.

“The integrity of Iowa’s elections is my top priority as State Commissioner of Elections,” “We have protections in place in Iowa to ensure the integrity of the vote. All elections are conducted on paper ballots. There is a paper trail that allows us to go back and look at all the results if there is a discrepancy. We conduct post-election audits. The system worked and we will make sure all the numbers are accurate.”

Paul Pate, Iowa Secretary Pate

Parrott stressed this was an honest mistake and was not intentional. He says that they found the error before results were official, which is how the system works.

“Obviously on election night the Jasper County Auditor’s Office made an election results reporting error. It has since been corrected. I credit the system of checks and balances that Iowa has that gives auditors time before the county supervisors canvass the vote to catch errors and issues that may have happened on Election Day.”

Dennis Parrott, Jasper County Auditor

The county will start its recount Saturday at 10 a.m. Results are still unofficial.

After the correction, officials said Friday that Hart now leads the race by 162 votes.

The Associated Press has not declared a winner in the race, deeming it too close to call. has the latest updates on elections occurring in Siouxland and across the county:

  • Find election results here.
  • View the latest election coverage here.
  • Watch KTIV newscasts here.
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