As the country waits for the results of the Presidential race, Iowans still have a local race left undecided

Published: Nov. 5, 2020 at 10:37 PM CST
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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG) -All but one of Iowa’s Congressional seats have results in. Iowa’s Second Congressional District race remains too close to call, with Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks ahead of Democrat Rita Hart by 282 votes as of Wednesday evening.

Voters likely won’t know who won Iowa’s Second Congressional District until official canvassing this upcoming Tuesday. That’s when people will learn the outcome of any mail in ballots that came in after Election Day. Even then, it’s possible one party will call for a recount, which could delay results for more than two weeks.

Washington County Auditor Dan Widmer says his office still has some absentee ballots trickling in. That’s not surprising, because the county saw a major increase in absentee voters: up from 2016 by more than 2,000. Widmer says it’s important people stay patient while all the votes are counted, saying “I’m sure public thinks it takes us forever but it’s only because we want to be sure we’re providing accurate results.” Widmer says he is anticipating a request for a recount.

He also says he’s very happy with how his team handled the election, with the new obstacle of COVID-19. In Washington County, they made several adjustments to help protect against COVID-19, including hiring an extra poll worker to focus on cleaning and sanitizing voting stations, and moving some polling locations to different, larger spaces that helped limited potential exposure.

Washington County is one of many Iowa counties that hit a new record with a 76% voter turnout. Widmer says some people waited almost an hour in line to vote on Tuesday. He also says many voters took advantage of curbside voting, another effort meant to keep voters and poll workers separated and safe.

If there is a request for a recount, Widmer says his office will take specific instructions from the Secretary of State on how to proceed. Then, a newly formed counting team will have 18 days to recount the votes.

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