Iowa Democrat Rita Hart announced today she is withdrawing her challenge to U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks' election in Iowa's 2nd Congressional District, according to the Des Moines Register.
Hart had asked the U.S. House to review the outcome, which was decided by a razor-thin margin of six votes. A district-wide recount showed Miller-Meeks won the race by just six votes out of nearly 400,000 cast, the tightest margin of any U.S. election since 1974. A bipartisan state panel certified the results in January.
At issue were 22 ballots that Hart's campaign alleged were legally cast but not properly counted that would have put her ahead. Rather than take the issue through the Iowa courts, Hart filed a petition with the House Committee on Administration in Congress.
Republicans mounted a public pressure campaign calling it an attempt to "steal" the election, and they promised to make it an election issue for moderate and vulnerable Democrats across the country.
Facing an uptick in new coronavirus cases and a hesitancy among a significant portion of the population to get the vaccine, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds continued her push to persuade Iowans that getting a shot will help return life to normal. In early March, hospitalizations of people infected with the virus had dropped as low as low as 161 but began edging up again mid-month and have been around 200 in recent days.