Ballot Dispute

By: Iowa AP
Dec 4th, 2018

     DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Democratic candidate for a northeast Iowa House seat who is trailing by nine votes has won a court ruling that gives her the right to determine whether 33 absentee ballots were mailed on time. The ruling could potentially change the results of the race if the ballots are counted.
    Democrat Kayla Koether (KAY-tuhr) sued election officials who refused to count the ballots, saying they lacked a postmark that would indicate when they were mailed. The ballots do contain a postal bar code that Koether says Iowa law allows to be used as proof of mailing.
    Incumbent Republican Michael Bergan leads Koether by nine votes in the three-county district.
    Judge Scott Beattie's order Monday does not hold up certification of the race with an injunction and Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate says he certified the results with Bergen winning, but the judge's order says Koether can contest the election, which means a winner will not be seated until the ballot dispute is resolved.
    Beattie ordered the ballots preserved, scanned by the Postal Service and a date of mailing determined by Wednesday. That information must be provided to the court and the attorneys by Friday.