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The latest on Iowa's 2nd Congressional District, open state Senate seat

Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks was sworn into the U.S. House over the weekend, but Iowa Senate District 41 is now up for grabs.

More than 350,000 Iowans have a new Congresswoman this week after Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks was sworn into Congress on Sunday.

That race flipped control of the 2nd Congressional District.

But a group of voters in her district swear their votes weren't counted and that another person should be on Capitol Hill.

Rita Hart, a Democrat, is challenging the recount process and bringing her case to Congress.

Some questions viewers are asking:

  • Should Miller-Meeks have been sworn in?
  • When will Rita Hart be able to make her case to Congress?
  • Is this the future of how elections will play out?

Local 5 spoke to Republican strategist Craig Robinson and Democratic strategist Pete D'Alessandro to get the latest development on Iowa's 2nd District.

Local 5 News: Well, first, let's start with the obvious: the United States House hasn't overturned a state election results since 1985. How likely is it to happen in this case? 

Craig Robinson: I don't think it's very likely to happen. I think with a lot of things, there's a lot of bluster and a lot of emotion out there. But I think at the end of the day, it's gonna be you know, life is normal.

Pete D'Alessandro: Well, I don't know if it's likely to happen. But I think the process is playing out the way it should and they're going to look at it. 

And if these votes that I believe should be counted are counted and it does show that that Rita Hart won, I think they will seat her. They won't be afraid of seating if they have that evidence that those 22 votes, or if we get a full recount, and the number changes ... I think they'll seat her if that's the case. 

Local 5: So what does this contest mean for the state Senate seat formerly held by Miller-Meeks? 

D'Alessandro: I think it's an interesting a race because that is one of those places where Democrats have done very well for a lot of years, and recently haven't done as well. 

So what happens is, when something gets focused that closely, you're going to have a race that's really centered on whoever the two candidates are. And it becomes flippable. It becomes a Democrat-possible win because of that. 

And so yeah, I think I think it makes it interesting and important.

RELATED: Rita Hart cites voter testimony in election challenge days before Miller-Meeks seating

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Robinson: Well I think that if this was a general election race, I think Republicans would hold the seat. But this will be a special election in the middle of the, you know, winter months ... Democrats have a chance. 

I mean, they have a primary down there. And the last two candidates that ran for that office, you know, are running against each other now to be the candidate. Both of those candidates only lost that state Senate seat by a few hundred votes. So they're good candidates. 

I mean, they're people who are, you know, been tied into that community for a long time. So I think it's going to be important here to see who the Republicans nominate to be their candidate. And if they have a strong candidate with local ties, I expect that they will do well. 

Local 5: Is this kind of back-and-forth over, and arguing over the results of elections, the future of the election process? 

Robinson: I don't think so. 

I think look, anytime that you have a close contest with ... you know, a very tight finish, it exposes the flaws in the system. And that's what we're experiencing, not only here, but in other parts of the country. 

D'Alessandro: I agree with that, and actually, what it exposes ... we're human beings that run these things. And so when you have a six-vote, race, human error ... there's no malfeasance a lot of times. It's just we're human beings and we make mistakes, which I think is even more of a reason to make sure you count every vote. 

But yeah, when it's this close, it's just gonna happen because people make mistakes. 

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