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Two days of canvassing Election Day results comes to an end

Published: Nov. 10, 2020 at 4:55 PM CST
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TIPTON, Iowa (KCRG) - For the last couple of days, county boards of supervisors across the state spent time confirming, or canvassing, Election Day results. That’s resulted in a change, for the second time on who is leading in the race to represent Iowa’s second congressional district.

As of 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks holds a lead over Democrat Rita Hart by 40 votes, according to results on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website. One week ago, Miller-Meeks led by 282 votes and then on Friday, Hart led by 162.

Monday and Tuesday were the final days county boards of supervisors could meet to ensure every ballot cast in the general election was valid and accounted for. It’s called a canvass and it confirms the results reported by media outlets and on the Secretary of State’s website are correct.

After election night, county auditors and their teams look at what are called “tapes” from ballot scanners. They confirm those results match up with what was sent and listed on the Secretary of State’s website. They also wait for any final absentee ballots to arrive and confirm provisional ballots, with oversight from Democratic and Republican representatives.

The auditor then presents the latest count to the county board of supervisors for the canvassing process to begin. Supervisors take the time confirming the total number of votes in each precinct throughout the county are accurate and match before certifying them.

With so few votes separating the Republican Miller-Meeks and Democrat Hart in the race to represent Iowans in the second district, any error could determine a winner. Since election night, the lead in that race has changed twice as votes were counted.

“It’s a double check, not only that, but we are very diligent in making sure there are no errors. People think once the election is over, we are done, It’s actually even harder the following days just leading up to canvass,” Cari Dauber, Cedar County Auditor, said.

Representatives from each party also sit in on the county canvass process to monitor the final count on their own.

“I have a very good relationship with the auditor,” Larry Hodgden, chairman of the Cedar County Democrats, said. “I trust her to do the right thing, but like Regan always said, trust, and verify. Here I am to verify the numbers and reassure Cedar County democrats and all voters in Cedar County that their votes a counted accurately.”

Cedar County Republicans were also monitoring the canvass, as well as representatives from the Miller-Meeks and Hart campaigns. Once the county boards of supervisors complete their canvass, county auditors then send that final tally into the secretary of state’s office for a canvas to happen again at the state level.

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