In the first vote in the Iowa House in 2019, Republican lawmakers voted to deny 29 Iowans their right to vote. On a straight party line vote, the House passed the Majority Report to disenfranchise 29 voters from Winneshiek County in the election contest filed by Kayla Koether of Decorah.

“As a voter who could not make it to the polls on Election Day, I am extremely disappointed that politicians in Des Moines don’t want my vote to count. I followed the law and made sure my ballot was mailed on time. It’s my right to have my voice heard and my vote counted,” said Liam Murphy of Decorah, who traveled through a snow storm to talk to lawmakers before the House vote on Monday.

Last week, Republican lawmakers in charge of the Election Contest Committee refused to allow any disenfranchised voters or other witnesses to testify before the committee. In filing the election contest, Koether requested that 29 uncounted legally cast absentee ballots in House District 55 from the November election be counted.

“There are 29 Iowa citizens who followed the law and legally cast ballots only to have them rejected by Republican politicians at every turn. As lawmakers, our job is to follow the rule of law and protect the rights of Iowans. These 29 Iowans deserved to be heard and their votes should be counted,” said Rep. Mary Wolfe of Clinton, who served on the contest committee and is Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee.

“Instead of disenfranchising voters, Republicans should listen to Iowans and count every vote. There are 29 Iowans — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents — who were denied their fundamental right to vote today and they deserved better,” said Rep. Brian Meyer of Des Moines, who also served on the contest committee.