FiveThirtyEight
Nathaniel Rakich

Any election as close as Iowa’s 2nd District has the potential to wind up in a prolonged legal dispute, which could mean the winner doesn’t get seated for months. In New Hampshire’s 1974 U.S. Senate election, the final recount yielded a margin of just 2 votes, and the loser challenged the result in the Senate. The Senate eventually declared the seat vacant and a new election was held, so the winner wasn’t seated until September. And in the razor-close 1984 election for Indiana’s 8th District, the Republican secretary of state declared the Republican the winner, but the Democratic House refused to seat him and in May declared the Democrat the winner by just 4 votes.


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