22 Legally-cast, Uncounted Votes Will Put Hart Ahead by Nine Votes

Johnson County voter Mike Overholt is the busy dad of five kids. With his wife pregnant and COVID-19 cases rising this fall, Mr. Overholt arranged to vote early as an in-person absentee voter. According to a recent affidavit, Overholt marked his ballot in private, sealed it, and placed it in the official ballot box at his absentee voting location. As Mr. Overholt wrote, “I specifically remember sealing my ballot because I thought in this time of COVID-19 it was interesting that we are sealing our ballot envelopes by licking them shut.” Yet despite all of his efforts, Mr. Overholt is one of the 22 voters whose legally-cast ballots were never counted in the race for Iowa’s Second Congressional District. 

“I submitted my ballot, and I sealed the envelopes as best I could. And then made sure to put them in the ballot box and, what I found out about mine was that the glue didn’t stick right … So I, I was really disappointed when I heard that this was the reason why my ballot wasn’t counted, just because of the, the number of sacrifices and arrangements we made to try to get this to take part in the, in the vote and I especially want my vote to count because I did it legally,” said Mike Overholt.

Following an initial state recount process that left thousands of ballots in question, Iowa Second Congressional candidate Rita Hart filed a Notice of Contest with the U.S. House of Representatives which details 22 legally-cast ballots like Mr. Overholt’s that were unlawfully excluded from the state-certified results. To read the full Notice of Contest click here. Mr. Overholt’s affidavit can be found on page A-97.

The Iowa Democratic Party is highlighting those 22 uncounted voters to emphasize the U.S. House’s responsibility to ensure that every Iowan’s voice is heard. The project comes as several of the disenfranchised voters have spoken out, demanding that their votes be counted.