DES MOINES, Iowa (PNN) - December 9, 2022 - Iowa’s House District 81 race has been nothing short of chaotic.
After four recounts, Republican Luana Stoltenberg has officially defeated Democrat Craig Cooper for Iowa’s House District 81 seat.
The recount board carried out both a machine recount and a hand recount.
The machine recount declared Democrat Craig Cooper as the winner.
However, a hand recount revealed Stoltenberg won the race by 11 votes garnering 5,073 votes to Cooper’s 5,062 votes.
Despite Cooper winning the machine recount, Iowa law dictates that the recount board can choose which results to use when certifying their report. That’s why the recount board chose to certify the hand count instead of the machine count, deeming Stoltenberg the winner.
In her administrative recount report to the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office on Wednesday, Scott County Auditor Kerri Tompkins cited issues with machines jamming during counting.
Democrat Craig Cooper accepted his defeat and, in a Facebook post, congratulated Stoltenberg on her big win.
In a separate comment, Republican winner Stoltenberg expressed that she is still in disbelief, and advocated for hand recounts to override machine recounts in the future.