A candidate for a northeast Iowa legislative seat who finished nine votes behind her opponent after this week’s recount is going to court, trying to get more ballots counted.
Twenty-nine uncounted absentee ballots, mailed to the Winneshiek County Auditor, arrived the day after the Election — without a postmark. Kayla Koether, a Democrat from Decorah, said in a written statement that every ballot legally cast in her race against Republican Representative Michael Bergen of Dorchester should be counted.
Koether has filed a petition in Polk County District Court, hoping a judge will order the Iowa Secretary of State to let U.S. Postal Service bar codes be checked to determine if the ballots were mailed on time and should be counted. A hearing on this case is scheduled for early Friday afternoon in Des Moines.
Koether’s legal challenge notes mail sent in Winneshiek County is processed at a postal service center in Waterloo. She argues the 29 ballots that arrived in the auditor’s office the day after the Election were likely mailed on time — on Monday, November 5 — because it generally takes two days for mail to make the trip from Winneshiek County to Waterloo and back.
Koether’s petition also mentions that about a dozen absentee ballots that were counted in Fayette County lacked a dated postmark on the envelope.
The statewide canvass which certifies the 2018 election results is scheduled for Monday.