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Newscast 11.18.22: Republican candidate for state auditor in Iowa concedes race ahead of recount deadline; IA has its second-highest voter turnout in a mid-term election this year

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Todd Halbur, Republican Candidate for State Auditor in Iowa, 2022

Republican candidate for Iowa state auditor Todd Halbur has conceded to Democratic incumbent Rob Sand and has abandoned his call for a recount.

Halbur previously said he would ask for a recount. Unofficial results show Sand received nearly 3-thousand more votes than Halbur.

In a post on Facebook today (Friday), Halbur says he conceded because his campaign, quote, “lacks the resources and manpower” to go through with a recount.

Today (Friday) was the deadline to request a recount in many counties. For a statewide recount, Iowa law would require Halbur to request a recount in each of the 99 counties and provide a designee to serve on the recount board in each county.

Iowa had its second-highest voter turnout ever for a midterm election this year. But the use of absentee ballots dropped significantly. It was the first major election after the Iowa Legislature cut the amount of time allowed for absentee voting down to 20 days.

In the 2014 and 2018 midterm elections, 41-percent of the ballots cast were absentee ballots. In this year’s midterm election, 30-percent were absentee.

University of Iowa law professor Derek Muller is an election law expert. He says it’s very hard to measure how many people may have been driven away from voting altogether.

   “On an individual level, I bet there’s no question that some voters didn’t participate. And maybe it was just the change in the rule…and there might be others who weren’t able to sort of meet the deadlines and then weren’t able to participate.”  

Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate attributes the drop in absentee voting to political parties not emphasizing absentee voting this year.

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