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Top Democrat calls for audit of Iowa caucuses as problems delay final tally

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Top Democrat calls for audit of Iowa caucuses as problems delay final tally

By Amanda Becker and Michael Martina

 

2020-02-07T002055Z_1_LYNXMPEG1600T_RTROPTP_4_USA-ELECTION-BUTTIGIEG.JPG

Pete Buttigieg, Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend, Indiana mayor attends a campaign event in Merrimack, New Hampshire, U.S., February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

 

WASHINGTON/MANCHESTER, N.H. (Reuters) - Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez on Thursday called for an audit of the Iowa caucuses after an array of problems delayed results from the party's first 2020 presidential nominating contest and created uncertainty about their accuracy.

 

However, the Iowa Democratic Party's leader said it would comply only if a campaign asked for an audit.

 

No winner has been declared four days after the caucuses took place in roughly 1,600 locations throughout Iowa on Monday night, and the troubled process has clouded Democrats' initial efforts to find a challenger to Republican President Donald Trump in November.

 

"Enough is enough," Perez wrote in a Twitter post. "In light of the problems that have emerged in the implementation of the delegate selection plan and in order to assure public confidence in the results, I am calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to immediately begin a recanvass."

 

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price later said the local party did not plan to start an immediate audit.

 

“We owe it to the thousands of Iowa Democratic volunteers and caucusgoers to remain focused on collecting and reviewing incoming results," Price said in a statement posted on Twitter.

 

“Should any presidential campaign in compliance with the Iowa Delegate Selection Plan request a recanvass, the IDP is prepared."

 

Under party rules, a recanvass would involve a hand audit of caucus-site math to recount the worksheets and forms that were submitted via telephone and a new mobile app on caucus night.

 

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez on Thursday called for a recanvass of the Iowa caucuses after an array of problems delayed results from the party’s first 2020 presidential nominating contest and created uncertainty about their accuracy. Jonah Green reports.

 

With 97% of precincts counted, Pete Buttigieg, the 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has 26.2% of state delegate equivalents and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has 26.1%, according to the state party.

 

Buttigieg, ahead in the delegates that will be used to determine a winner, has claimed victory in the race. As has Sanders, who has a slight lead in the equivalent of Iowa's popular vote, which will not be used to determine a winner.

 

It was not clear when the remainder of the results would be released.

 

Party officials initially attributed the delays to a technical problem with the new mobile app, but other concerns have since emerged, complicating efforts to release the final tallies.

 

The Iowa Democratic Party received an "unusually high volume of inbound calls" to its caucus hotline on Monday night from "callers who would hang up immediately after being connected, supporters of President Trump who called to express their displeasure with the Democratic Party, and Iowans looking to confirm details," a party official said.

 

The call volume was "highly irregular" compared with previous caucuses, the official said.

 

The New York Times has also reported that more than 100 precincts reported results that were inconsistent, had missing data or were not possible under the caucus rules, casting doubt on the count.

 

The Iowa Democratic Party declined to comment on inconsistencies.

 

Both parties have criticized Iowa's process.

 

"They can't count some simple votes and yet they want to take over your healthcare system," Trump said of Democrats during an address celebrating his acquittal on impeachment charges.

 

However, his own party switched the declared Iowa winner two weeks after its own Iowa caucuses in 2012.

 

Sanders, campaigning on Thursday in New Hampshire, which hosts the next nominating contest early next week, said it was a "screwup" that was unfair to all candidates.

 

Former Vice President Joe Biden, once considered the Democratic front-runner nationally but lagging in fourth place in Iowa behind Senator Elizabeth Warren, said on Wednesday the process was "a gut punch.” 

 

After Iowa's reporting issues and delays, the Nevada Democratic Party, which hosts its caucus on Feb. 22, is "scrapping both the app and ties to Shadow," the company that developed caucus-reporting apps for both Iowa and Nevada, party spokeswoman Molly Forgey said.

 

"Luckily for us we had a series of backup plans in place," Forgey added.

 

(Reporting by Amanda Becker in Washington and Michael Martina in New Hampshire; additional reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Bill Berkrot, Cynthia Osterman and Jonathan Oatis)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-02-07
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13 minutes ago, JHolmesJr said:

I wouldn't mind Pete Buttegieg running against the Donald.

He'll get steamrolled.

Yes I agree. 

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Aside from the fact that Iowa is first ,and everyone is excited to get some kind of indication how all the candidates stand, It is really inconsequential to the national race and a bad indicator, because the process is to antiquated and convoluted to reflect and accurate public sentiment locally,  and Iowa demographics do not reflect national demographics enough to reflect national sentiment. 

IMO regardless of any Audit the results will not change significantly enough to change anything. Sanders and Buttigieg  each will endup with 11 delegates, Waren 5 and biden 2. 

 Super Tuesday will separate the men from the boys, no one is dropping out until then. The next debate should be interesting, IMO  that's where the knives are coming out. 

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15 minutes ago, rabas said:

As Iowa goes, so goes the nation. Well at least the Democratic Party. What happened in Iowa is because of the Democrats, not because of Iowa. Expect it to follow them all the way to the election. Shredding Trump's speech may as well have been shredding the Democratic party. 

Wishful thinking

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3 hours ago, Thingamabob said:

What a mess. Come on Dems. WAKE UP !

Unfortunately, this is Dems at their "wokest". Rigging primaries is what they do ever since that uppity black man Obama (and yes, that is how the party of slavery and the KKK thought of him) took Hillary's crown on the way to her coronation. Unfortunately, they're also incredibly incompetent and can't even rig a caucus in a small state without screwing it up and humiliating themselves and their party.

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It looks like the DNC plan is coming to light. Time to get rid of all the token minorities (including Warren running people of color out of her campaign) and bring the rich, white elitists back in front.

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9 hours ago, JHolmesJr said:

I wouldn't mind Pete Buttegieg running against the Donald.

He'll get steamrolled.

Bloomberg would be a much stronger choice. 

It's now looking like the top three going forward will be Bloomberg, Buttigeig and Sanders. 

Of those three it would be crazy not to pick Bloomberg. 

Bloomberg is also the one that  45 is most afraid of now and for good reason. 

Sanders would be the worst mistake the democrats could make. 

Buttigeig would at least have a fighting chance. 

Of course he would pick an older experienced VP which would mitigate the too young and inexperienced weaknesses. Probably not a person that has run this time. 

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With a name like that he deserves to be on the Dems ticket, :cheesy:

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9 hours ago, sirineou said:

Aside from the fact that Iowa is first ,and everyone is excited to get some kind of indication how all the candidates stand, It is really inconsequential to the national race and a bad indicator, because the process is to antiquated and convoluted to reflect and accurate public sentiment locally,  and Iowa demographics do not reflect national demographics enough to reflect national sentiment. 

IMO regardless of any Audit the results will not change significantly enough to change anything. Sanders and Buttigieg  each will endup with 11 delegates, Waren 5 and biden 2. 

 Super Tuesday will separate the men from the boys, no one is dropping out until then. The next debate should be interesting, IMO  that's where the knives are coming out. 

Yes, can’t wait to see a bunch of millionaires argue with the other millionaires about how evil and bad millionaires are!

 

And before you say old red Bernie is arguing about billionaires, he was saying the same thing about millionaires before he became a millionaire. Now millions are OK.

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