Iowa releases final delegate totals with Buttigieg in lead, Bernie demands recanvass

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is reportedly planning to ask for a “partial recanvass” of some Iowa precincts before the deadline Monday.

The check of the vote count against paper records has not taken place following last week’s disastrous Iowa Democratic caucuses and despite the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Tom Perez, calling for a recanvass after the release of partial results.

(Image: CBS News screenshot)

Results from 20 to 30 precincts will be asked to be reviewed by the Iowa Democratic Party, a Sanders aide confirmed Sunday according to the Associated Press. The request would come ahead of a looming 1 p.m. Monday deadline and following updated results released on Sunday showing Pete Buttigieg leading with 14 pledged delegates and Sanders receiving 12.

Candidates and party leaders have leveled sharp criticism after last week’s debacle, as technical issues, a new app used to report results and often questionable practices roiled the caucuses, delayed results and ultimately undermined faith in the entire process.

The Iowa Democratic Party’s delegate selection plan requires any candidate asking for a recanvass of votes to provide “an explanation about how the national delegation could be altered as a result of the problem or its correction.”

Sanders called the Iowa caucus “an embarrassment” during a CNN interview Sunday.

(Source: CNN)

“It was a disgrace to the good people of Iowa, who take their responsibilities in the caucuses very seriously. They screwed it up badly, is what the Iowa Democratic Party did,” the Vermont senator said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday.

“But, at the end of the day, to me, what is most important — and I don’t know how anybody can debate it — we ended up on the first ballot 6,000 votes ahead of anybody else,” he added. “And after the realignment process, which is a fine process, we ended up 2,500 votes ahead of Mayor Buttigieg. When you win an election by 6,000 or 2,500 votes, from where I come from, you win the primary or the caucus.”

With the focus having moved on to the next primary state, New Hampshire, the Iowa trainwreck continues to dog the Democratic Party as even a slight change in the math could have a significant impact on candidates moving forward in the 2020 race.

The Appeal’s Daniel Nichanian noted some errors even after Sunday’s updates were released, pointing out how one precinct gave more state delegates than it even had and how Buttigieg seemed to benefit.

And in some locations, tied caucus votes that were too close to call were broken with an actual flip of a coin.

Though some precinct leaders made errors calculating how many national delegates each candidate received, the worksheets that were used are considered legal documents and, therefore, can’t be tampered with, according to Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price.

“It is the legal voting record of the caucus, like a ballot. The seriousness of the record is made clear by the language at the bottom stating that any misrepresentation of the information is a crime,” IDP attorney, Shayla McCormally, said in an internal party email sent over the weekend. “Therefore, any changes or tampering with the sheet could result in a claim of election interference or misconduct.”

The party has not explained the updated results or errors that remain even as the Sanders campaign considers the request for recanvassing, and as the criticism and questions continue.


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Frieda Powers


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