Stoltenberg contests Iowa House District 81 results

Republican nominee Luana Stoltenberg officially disputes the results of the Nov. 18 recount, which declared Democrat Craig Cooper the winner.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Editor’s Note: The above video is from November 21st.

The contentious election race for Iowa House District 81 is officially contested by Republican nominee Luana Stoltenberg after a Nov. 18 recount showed Democrat Craig Cooper the winner by just six votes.

Scott County caught up with its votes Monday to finalize its results.

“Knowing we had a couple of races that were very close and they weren’t 100% accurate,” said Scott County Auditor Kerri Tompkins. “That’s why I called the recount. Now we are 100% sure that this is the real number.”

On election night, Stoltenberg appeared to have won the race by 29 votes against Cooper. On Thursday, November 10, Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate announced that an error in the tabulation of Scott County’s ballot papers had been discovered, leading to an administrative recount the next day.

Tompkins said the discrepancy affected 470 ballots and scheduled a recount for Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 11 a.m. at the Scott County Government Building.

The November 15 recount was conducted by voting machines and in the presence of poll workers and a professional machine technician. But the recount was halted after the machine repeatedly jammed. This resulted in a manual recount on November 17, followed by a machine count on November 18.

The Iowa Secretary of State’s website reported Nov. 18 that Cooper leads by just six votes after Scott County completed its final recount.

“I’m not even really sure how I felt. I mean, you’re just kind of up and down,” Stoltenberg said Tuesday. “I wasn’t sure what to expect. So it was a surprise, but it wasn’t a surprise.”

Despite the new results, Stoltenberg is asking for another recount.

“We’ve done three recounts now and we’re still not up to my records, we’re still not up to the number they should have reconciled with,” she said.

News 8’s Cesar Sanchez spoke to Cooper about his opponent’s request on Tuesday morning. He said he would have done the same if he were in their place, but remains confident he is the winner and the new Iowa House District 81 representative.

Pate’s office will confirm the state’s election results on December 5.

Check out more news, weather and sports on the News 8 YouTube channel