The Iowa Democrat Party on Thursday seemingly rejected a request from Democrat National Committee (DNC) chairman Tom Perez to recanvass its caucus amid growing concerns over the accuracy in its delayed results.
“Should any presidential campaign in compliance with the Iowa Delegate Selection Plan request a recanvass, the IDP is prepared,” Iowa Democrat Party Chairman Troy Price said in a statement.
“This is the official record of the Iowa Democratic caucus, and we are committed to ensuring the results accurately reflect the preference of Iowans,” he added.
Earlier Thursday, Perez asked state Democrat officials to recanvass the caucus vote.
“Enough is enough. 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,” Perez tweeted.
His demand came after the New York Times reported that results published on Wednesday were riddled with mistakes and inconsistencies. “In some cases, vote tallies do not add up. In others, precincts are shown allotting the wrong number of delegates to certain candidates. And in at least a few cases, the Iowa Democratic Party’s reported results do not match those reported by the precincts,” according to the Times.
Price denied that the technical difficulties from a shadowy results app — created by a company named “Shadow, Inc.” with ties to Silicon Valley power players and Democratic operatives — affected the tally. “Throughout the collection of records of results, the IDP identified inconsistencies in the data and used our redundant paper records to promptly correct those errors,” his statement declared. “The IDP is nearing completion in collecting redundant materials from all 1,756 precincts, including hand-collecting materials from all 99 counties which are securely stored in Des Moines.”
On Thursday morning, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg held a narrow lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), with the candidates garnering 26.2 percent and 26 percent of the vote, respectively. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) placed third place with 18.2 percent, while former Vice President Joe Biden sat in fourth with 15.8 percent. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) took fifth place with 12.2 percent. Such figures represent 97 percent of the released votes.
The caucus crisis was an embarrassing twist after months of promoting Iowa as a chance for Democrats to find some clarity in a jumbled 2020 field. Instead, after a buildup that featured seven rounds of debates, nearly $1 billion spent nationwide and a year of political jockeying, caucus day ended with no winner and no official results.
Campaigning in New Hampshire, Sanders declared a “strong victory” for his campaign in the caucuses and called the Iowa Democrat Party’s management a “screw-up” that has been “extremely unfair” to the candidates and their supporters.
“I really do feel bad for the people of Iowa,” said Sanders, who added that it was “an outrage that they were that unprepared.”
Iowa marked the first contest in a primary season that will span all 50 states and several U.S. territories, ending at the party’s national convention in July.
The trouble began with an app that the Iowa Democratic Party used to tabulate the results of the contest. The app was rolled out shortly before caucusing began and did not go through rigorous testing.
The problems were compounded when phone lines for reporting the outcomes became jammed, with many callers placed on hold for hours in order to report outcomes. Party officials said the backlog was exacerbated by calls from people around the country who accessed the number and appeared intent on disrupting the process.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.