District 55 battle rolls on

Democrat Kayla Koether has run into another hurdle as she fights to get absentee ballots counted.

Koether lost a recount in Iowa's House District 55 to Michael Bergan by nine votes. That district includes Winneshiek, Clayton and Fayette counties.

She filed a petition to get 29 ballots that haven't been counted into the final number. They weren't initially counted because it was unclear if the ballots came through the mail in time.

Iowa's secretary of state and the Winneshiek County auditor have filed a motion to dismiss that petition.

The Secretary of State's Office said the issue is now in the hands of the Iowa District Court.

The Winneshiek County Auditor's Office said it will also do what the court rules. The office said it would be happy to open and count the ballots if that's what the court decides.

Republican incumbent Michael Bergan said he hopes the law and that the integrity of the process is upheld.

Koether still has time to file of notice through the Secretary of State's Office. According to Iowa law, she has 20 days before the start of the legislative session to file.

Koether's team did not return a call for comment.

A hearing on the petition has been scheduled for Dec. 20.