Democratic chairman calls for review of Iowa vote totals
Influential DNC chair says ‘enough is enough’
The national chairman of the US Democratic National Committee (DNC) has called for a review of votes cast in the Iowa primary.
The contest to pick a presidential nominee suffered a number of technical problems which delayed the final results by three days.
“Enough is enough,” said Tom Perez, who added that he wanted a “review of the worksheets from each caucus site to ensure accuracy.''
The final results of the Iowa vote came in on Thursday local time, with the local party declaring Pete Buttigieg the winner by a small margin.
But left-wing candidate Bernie Sanders declared a “very strong victory” for his campaign.
Results gave Buttigieg a lead of 0.1% in the number of delegates ahead of Sanders, though Sanders won a greater share of the popular vote, says the BBC.
“When more than 6,000 more people come out for you in an election than your nearest opponent, we here in northern New England call that a victory,” said Sanders, talking in New Hampshire ahead of next week’s primary.
The Democratic Party blamed the delay in announcing results on a coding error in the voting app, which is being used for the first time to report votes.
The Iowa Democratic Party said it had found “inconsistencies” in the voting process, but insisted that the hold-up was a “reporting issue” and not a “hack or an intrusion”, according to The New York Times.
The party insisted that the flaw in the app did not impact the accuracy of voting data.
Responding to Perez’s calls for a review of total votes cast, Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) chair Tony Price acknowledged that “reporting circumstances on Monday night were unacceptable”, but pushed back at the chairman’s remarks.
“We owe it to the thousands of Iowa Democratic volunteers and caucus goers to remain focused on collecting and reviewing incoming results,” said Price.
He added, however, that the IDP would be prepared for a recanvass should any presidential campaign requested one. Only the IDP has the power to call for a recanvass of votes.
Voters had flocked to over 1,600 schools, libraries and churches across 99 counties to pick which candidate will represent the Democrats for the upcoming presidential election. The candidates are vying to win the opening contest of the 2020 White House campaign and become the Democratic nominee who will challenge Donald Trump in the 3 November election.
The front-runners among the 11 remaining contenders are Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.
Donald Trump easily defeated his primary rivals in the Iowa Republican caucus, winning roughly 97% of the vote. His two challengers - former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld and former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh – took around 1% each.
Trump’s campaign has further sought to capitalise on the Democrat debacle, with Trump 2020 manager Brad Parscale saying in a statement: “Democrats are stewing in a caucus mess of their own creation with the sloppiest train wreck in history... It would be natural for people to doubt the fairness of the process.”