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House continues investigation challenging Republican win in Iowa

A challenge to Iowa's 2nd congressional district race continues in the House, as Democrat Rita Hart challenges Republican Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks' six-vote victory. Miller-Meeks was seated after Iowa's secretary of state certified the election. 

In new briefs filed Tuesday, Miller-Meeks' attorneys argued the case should be immediately dismissed, while Hart argued the House Administration Committee considering the case should take into account ballots excluded due to poll worker or envelope errors. 

It's a contest that some GOP critics, including Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, say is reminiscent of former President Trump and other Republicans' claims of a stolen election. Raffesnperger has sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Jon Ossoff and Senator Rafael Warnock, pointing to the recent elections in Georgia and threats election workers have faced and saying that overriding the election would be "unconscionable." 

Raffensperger's letter is notable since he is the top elections official in Georgia, ahead of Congress' counting of electoral votes, Mr. Trump told Raffensperger he needed to find 11,780 votes, one more than the number of votes Mr. Trump trailed President Biden. In the hourlong call, Mr. Trump also falsely claimed that "close to 5,000" dead people voted in the election.  

Pelosi's acceptance of the challenge in Iowa's second district has been criticized by a member of her own party, Representative Dean Phillips of Minnesota. Phillips said overturning the election would be "painful" for the country. 

Pelosi has defended the investigation to challenge the race, while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is accusing Democrats of attempting to steal an election. 

The committee has the ability to recommend the matter to a full House vote, potentially putting vulnerable Democrats in a tight spot. But the House is allowed to review contested elections, and has reviewed 110 that have been properly filed since 1933. Miller-Meeks' win is one of the narrowest in House history. 

The House Committee on Administration, which has voted to postpone a request from Miller-Meeks to dismiss the case, will now review the briefs from both campaigns. Both campaigns also have an opportunity to respond to the other's brief on March 29. 

Once the House administration reviews the facts and both campaigns have time to make arguments, the committee will file a report and a resolution. The committee can adopt the resolution and send it to the House floor for a full vote. The House, based on the committee's review, could affirm Miller-Meeks' win, order a recount, or say, for instance, Iowa election officials improperly handled ballots and Hart should have the seat instead. 

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