DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa's state canvassing board on Monday certified the results of the 2020 election, which had the highest turnout in state history and one of the highest voter participation rates in the nation.
More than 1.7 million votes were cast in Iowa for the November 3 election, which represents a 76% turnout. More than one million Iowans voted absentee, a surge driven by the pandemic.
“I’m proud of all the work our election officials and poll workers put in and of the way Iowans showed up in record numbers to make their voices heard,” Secretary Pate said. “Despite the pandemic, we had record-breaking turnout in the June primary and November general election. That shows once again that Iowans’ commitment to civic engagement is unrivaled.”
During a teleconference call Monday, the state board moved to certify the results, which included the extremely close race for Iowa's Second Congressional District ultimately decided by just six votes following a district-wide recount. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, a Republican, was declared the winner over Rita Hart, a Democrat.
It's the closest race in the country, and a legal challenge to the results is likely.
"I think that alone reinforces that every vote counts and can make a difference," Pate told the five-member state panel comprised of the governor, secretary of state, secretary of agriculture, state auditor and state treasurer.
The certification of results also delivered the state's six electors to President Donald Trump, whom President-elect Joe Biden defeated in the Electoral College.
Every county in the state surpassed 65% turnout, according to Pate's office. Harrison County had the highest turnout with 87.5%.
14 counties --- Benton, Bremer, Cedar, Dallas, Delaware, Fayette, Grundy, Harrison, Kossuth, Madison, Ringgold, Sioux, Warren, and Wayne --- surpassed 80% turnout.
The previous record for voter turnout was in 2012 with more than 1.5 million votes cast. The current record set this year outpaced that by nearly 11,000.