DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Democratic candidate in a northeast Iowa House district trailing by just nine votes has sued, seeking to force election officials to count 33 ballots left uncounted because they lack a postmark.
Kayla Koether filed a motion Thursday seeking a temporary injunction in Polk County District Court to stop Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate from certifying incumbent Republican Michael Bergan as the House District 55 winner on Monday.
She also is asking the court to require Pate and Winneshiek County Auditor Ben Steines to confirm with the U.S. Postal Service that its barcode information on the ballots can prove they were mailed by the day before Election Day, the deadline required by Iowa law.
State law allows ballot envelopes with a postmark or an intelligent mail barcode traceable to a date to be counted but using postal service barcodes is not common practice and ballots without traditional postmarks often are not counted by many counties.