DES MOINES, Iowa – An Election Contest Committee will take up the disputed Winneshiek County election to the Iowa House of Representatives.
House Speaker Linda Upmeyer announced Monday she will appoint the committee and it will meet shortly after the Legislature convenes on January 14.
Democrat Kayla Koether lost the election in House District 55 by nine votes to incumbent Republican Michael Bergan. She then went to court to get 29 absentee ballots counted. Those ballots had postal code bar markings which indicate they were mailed before the absentee ballot deadline but did not have postmarks as required by state law.
Upmeyer says the Election Contest Committee will hear arguments from each side, gather necessary information, and issue a report for the full House, which will then vote to resolve the ballot dispute.
A state judge dismissed Koether’s lawsuit over the absentee ballots in December 2018, saying it was up to the House to decide the issue.
Upmeyer says until that happens, Bergan will serve as the Representative for District 55.