Iowa Democratic Party Approves Requests for Partial Recanvass of Caucuses

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Posted: Feb 12, 2020 4:00 PM
Iowa Democratic Party Approves Requests for Partial Recanvass of Caucuses

Source: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

The Iowa Democratic Party has agreed to a partial recanvass of the Iowa caucuses after requests were made by both Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and South Bend Mayor Peter Buttigieg. According to a report, the recanvass is expected to begin on Sunday, Feb. 16, and take two days to complete.

(Via Fox News

The Sanders campaign requested a recanvass of 25 precincts and three satellite caucuses, which it argued had errors in counting. If the errors exist, the Sanders campaign says it will pick up one more national delegate and tip the balance of the race in Sanders’ favor.

Meanwhile, Buttigieg’s campaign has asked for a recanvass of 66 precincts.

A recanvass is not a recount, but a check of the vote count against paper records to ensure the counts were reported accurately.

While the IDP on Sunday released updated results showing Buttigieg leading Sanders by two state delegate equivalents out of 2,152 counted, the Associated Press says it is still unable to declare a winner because the wire service believes the results may not be fully accurate and are still subject to potential revision.

Both Buttigieg and Sanders have claimed victory in the Iowa caucuses—Buttigieg, because he holds a razor-thin lead in the delegate count; Sanders, because he has received the most total support in overall raw votes.

The Iowa Democratic Party extended its original deadline for candidates to requests a recanvass of the caucuses to Monday, Feb. 11. On Sunday, Feb. 10, the Iowa Democratic Party released updated results following a review of 95 instances that were flagged by various campaigns. Following the updated results, a senior adviser for the Sanders' campaign, Jeff Weaver, announced their campaign would be requesting a recanvass of certain precincts.

"This was an informal review for clerical errors," Weaver said of the Iowa Democratic Party's initial review. "But it wasn't a review more than that."

Despite the most recent figures, the Democratic Party maintains that errors on precinct math worksheets could not be corrected, as any such "correction" could be used as a claim of election interference, according to a report in The New York Times. Weaver said the Sanders campaign is also considering a request for a recount, which would be a more intense and extensive process than a recanvass.

“While a recanvass is just the first step in the process, and we don’t expect it to change the current calculations, it is a necessary part of making sure Iowans can trust the final results of the caucus,” Weaver said in a statement. “Our volunteers and supporters worked too hard, and too many people participated for the first time to have the results depend on calculations that even the party admits are incorrect."

The new numbers released on Sunday show Buttigieg ahead of Sanders in the projected delegate count. Buttigieg is now forecasted to pick up 14 delegates, Sanders 12, Warren 8, Biden 6 and Klobuchar 1. While Sanders won the support of a greater number of caucus-goers, Buttigieg won a greater number of delegates as a result of caucus rules.

The results of the much smoother-run New Hampshire primary are already in, with Sanders winning 27.4 percent of the vote and Buttigieg trailing with 24.4 percent.