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Judge promises ruling in Kayla Koether petition before the State Canvassing Board meets at noon Monday

Posted: Sun, Dec 02, 2018 5:29 PM

Polk County Judge Scott Beattie heard arguments Friday afternoon in a lawsuit brought by Iowa House District 55 Democratic candidate Kayla Koether, who is requesting that the vote cast by 33 Winneshiek County residents be included in the 2018 General Election results.

At issue are absentee ballots that arrived at the Winneshiek County Auditor's Office after Election Day, including 29 that came in the day after the election.  Koether trails Republican Michael Bergan by just nine votes out of nearly 14,000 votes cast.

The emergency petition filed in Polk County District Court late Thursday requests the Winneshiek County Auditor and Iowa Secretary of State use the USPS barcode information on the ballots to determine when the ballots were placed in the mail and to count those votes that were legally cast.  State election law says a mail-in ballot must be postmarked before Election Day in order to be counted.

Judge Beattie heard arguments in the case in Des Moines at 1:30 p.m. Friday.  Afterwards, he told both sides he would rule on the request for an injunction by Monday morning at the latest.  The State Canvassing Board is scheduled to meet at 12:00 noon Monday in Des Moines to certify election results.  Koether's petition is asking that the board be prevented from certifying the District 55 case until the legal issues are resolved.