Koether wins petition

Koether wins petition filed with Polk County District Court

 

by Chris DeBack

cdeback@fayettecountynewspapers.com

 

 

 

The race for Iowa House District 55 isn’t over just yet.

 

Michael Bergan was declared the unofficial winner over Democrat Kayla Koether after the initial certification of the election and a recount in Winneshiek and Clayton counties. After the recount, Bergan led by nine votes. 

 

Koether filed a petition in Polk County District Court to have 33 unpostmarked absentee ballots that were received after Election Day counted. Per Iowa Code, in order to be counted, an absentee ballot has to be postmarked the day before Election Day if it is received after Election Day. The 33 ballots were received after Election Day.  

 

However, 29 of them were received the Wednesday after Election Day. Koether contends there isn’t any way those ballots could have been put in the mail after the deadline and arrive in the Winneshiek County Auditor’s Office the Wednesday after Election Day. 

 

Judge Scott Beattie ordered the Iowa Secretary of State and Winneshiek County Auditor to obtain the necessary information to determine if the ballots were sent before the deadline. They have until Wednesday, Dec. 5, to get that information. Once it’s obtained, another hearing will take place to determine if the ballots should count. 

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