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Miller-Meeks campaign calls Scott County recount illegal in Dist. 2 race

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Dem. Rita Hart, left, and Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, right.

OTTUMWA, Iowa (KWWL) - Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks' campaign said Sunday morning it believes Scott County is conducting an illegal recount in the District 2 Congressional race.

The campaign alleges its competitor, Democrat Rita Hart, asked Scott County to do an illegal "hybrid" recount by both hand and machine. Hart requested a recount in all of District 2's counties on Nov. 12.

"Iowa law requires a recount in each precinct to be conducted either by Iowa’s reliable optical-scan ballot tabulating equipment or by a hand count. The Iowa Secretary of State has instructed recount boards to use one or the other, but not to combine the two. Most recount boards have complied with that law, but the Hart campaign has advocated for an illegal “hybrid” model in Democrat-leaning counties. The Scott County recount board, over the Miller-Meeks for Congress campaign’s objection and against the instructions of the Secretary of State, adopted this method."

Part of a statement from Miller-Meeks spokesperson Eric Woolson

Woolson alleges Scott County's absentee vote total is now off by 12 ballots.

The secretary of state's office said Sunday it had not received results from Scott County yet and had given appropriate guidance to all 24 counties.

"The Secretary of State’s Office had provided significant guidance to all 24 counties conducting recounts regarding the procedures that must be followed under Iowa law. The recount boards are required to follow Iowa law. We have not received results from Scott County."

Kevin Hall, spokesperson for Secretary of State Paul Pate

Late Sunday night, Rita Hart's campaign responded to this; saying the Miller-Meeks campaign should have voiced concern sooner.

"Each individual county recount has made decisions by a majority of the three-person Recount Board and, in Scott County specifically, this fair and lawful process was agreed to by the Board more than five days ago. The Miller-Meeks Campaign had no complaints during those five days, and is only now questioning the recount process as they lose ground. Now, they are questioning the integrity of the Recount Board members -- including their own designee."

Part of a statement from Hart campaign manager Zach Meunier
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Travis Breese

Reporter, Iowa City

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