House Rejects Absentee Mail Ballots in Northeast Iowa Race

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Republican-led Iowa House has voted to reject 29 absentee mail ballots cast in an Iowa House District 55 race, which covers Clayton, Fayette and Winneshiek counties.

The move hands a Republican who won by nine votes the seat in the first contested election to go before the Legislature in 27 years.

The ballots have been confirmed by a U.S. Postal Service scan of a postal barcode on the envelopes as having been mailed on time, but Republicans insist those barcodes can’t be used to validate ballots.

Democrats asserted during Monday’s debate that all valid ballots should be counted.

Republicans say the law requires mail ballots to be validated by postmark or a barcode placed by county election officials.

Democrat Kayla Koether says she may take the challenge to the courts, alleging voters have had legitimate votes taken away.