Dear Editor,

I want to voice my First Amendment right for freedom of speech in regard to the U.S. House District 2 recount results.

Rita Hart is wrong in trying to overturn the results of this election by bypassing Iowa Judicial Review and petitioning the U.S. House Administration Committee to review the results of a 6-vote win for Dr. M. Miller-Meeks. The recounts have been completed and the State of Iowa has certified Miller-Meeks as the winner.

Rita Hart needs to be loyal to Iowans first, not to those who helped fund her campaign, such as Nancy Pelosi. To have the U.S. House involved shows a lack of respect to Iowans who worked in the county elections and to voters in Iowa. I have empathy for Hart, but also for Miller-Meeks, who is the certified winner with this potential drawn-out process. The bottom line is that there was time for the legal process to be started in Iowa by both candidates knowing that the election was razor-thin and only one person could win. I don't understand why Hart delayed making a decision.

Rita Hart needs to withdraw any petition to the U.S. House Administration Committee to settle this Iowa certified election. Iowa cannot afford a delay in representation in January. Potential delays include the fact that Marcia Fudge, one of the six Democrats on this committee and who oversees election disputes, is accepting a position in the Biden Administration so she will have to be replaced by Pelosi. Other delays include legal submissions and trying to determine the intent of voters with contested ballots. It is insulting to think that Rita Hart would allow Pelosi to decide who can best represent Iowa.

Hart must do the right thing and gracefully concede to this loss. She has the opportunity to work with the state legislature to change what she is disputing as irregularities by offering changes needed for future elections.

June Cortesio-Stewart, Ottumwa

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