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Disqualifying an Election

Mariannette Miller-Meeks vs Rita Hart
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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic House members considered removing an elected member of Congress and replacing her with another Democrat. That did not happen because the Democrat decided to withdraw, leaving the elected Iowa Republican in the House of Representatives.

This incident raises lots of questions. The Constitution does allow Congress to disqualify an election, but that power hasn’t been used in decades and has been reserved for when there has been serious misconduct. The congressional election was very close, but that hardly gave the House leadership the right to overturn an election.

You may not have even heard about this possible action, which is another reason why I mention it. Imagine, if two years from now Republicans gain control of the House and the new Speaker of the House (likely Kevin McCarthy) decided to disqualify an elected Democrat from serving in the House. Do you think the media would ignore that abuse of power? I think we know the answer.

The reason for the controversy surfaced because the election was so close. The Republican won over the Democrat by merely six votes out of 394,439 votes. The next time you hear someone wonder if one vote counts, remind them of this congressional election that was won by six votes. I have done commentaries in the past documenting elections where the margin of victory was even less.

This incident also illustrates the need for election integrity. As with any election, there were questions about some of the ballots. Should they be counted or not counted? State legislatures in many parts of the country are currently considering legislation or passing legislation that should make our elections more secure.

Sloppy rules and arbitrary changes in election law make contested elections more likely. The election in Iowa illustrates why we need to get it right.viewpoints new web version

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