Dear Editor,

We don't often have the opportunity to demonstrate that every vote matters, but Rita Hart's request for a recount of every legal vote in Iowa's Second Congressional District is a civics class lesson in the quest to pursue that goal.

In a very close election with only a six-vote margin, there were 22 legally cast ballots that were unjustly excluded from the election results. The Miller-Meeks campaign does not dispute the validity of the 22 excluded ballots. We can see that 22 people who legally cast their ballots are disenfranchised, nine of which were here in Marion County. Due to inconsistencies in the initial recount, the nine ballots excluded in Marion County likely would have been counted in a different county. Hart's decision to contest the election through the House of Representatives through the Federal Contested Elections Act (FCEA) is the best way to ensure an accurate and consistent recount.

Hart has rightfully filed her election contest through the FCEA which requires that she prove there is credible evidence that would change the results of the election. Including the 22 ballots would swing the vote count from a six-vote lead for Miller-Meeks to a nine-vote lead for Hart. Her Notice of Contest satisfies the requirements of the FCEA and her choice to pursue this legal option shows her dedication to ensure that every vote is counted. Hart’s goal throughout this entire process has been to make sure every Iowan’s voice is heard. If there is an opportunity not to disenfranchise voters, why wouldn’t we take it? Though this process has been grueling, it has taught us the value of every single vote. We need to count every vote.

Jan Evans, Knoxville

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