DNC Chairman Calls for Recanvass of Iowa Caucus Results

February 6, 2020 Updated: February 7, 2020
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Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said Feb. 6 that Iowa’s Democratic Party needs to conduct a recanvass of the state, following confusion and delayed results during this week’s caucus.

With all the results reported, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) had 26.2 percent and 26.1 percent, respectively, of the Iowa state delegate equivalents. Officials blamed the delay in the caucus results on a “coding issue” in a vote-recording app.

“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 wrote on Twitter.

“A recanvass is a review of the worksheets from each caucus site to ensure accuracy,” he said, adding that the state Democratic Party “will continue to report results.”

The Iowa Democratic Party said that it wouldn’t conduct a recanvass unless a candidate requested one, as outlined in the Iowa Delegate Selection Plan. According to the party’s rules, a committee comprised of state party officials will assess any requests from candidates for a recanvass or recount.

Perez’s post on Twitter came shortly after a New York Times report added to the havoc in Iowa. In an analysis, the newspaper found that some results released Feb. 5 had errors and inconsistencies, but noted that there wasn’t any evidence that it was intentional.

The caucus results weren’t immediately available on Feb. 3, the day of the caucuses, but they have slowly been released in the days since then. Shadow Inc., which created the election app, issued a statement, with CEO Gerard Niemira saying he felt “terrible” for the mishap.

“I’m really disappointed that some of our technology created an issue that made the caucus difficult,” he said.

Earlier this week, Perez addressed the app failure, writing that Iowa’s caucus delay “should never happen again,” and that “we have staff working around the clock to assist the Iowa Democratic Party to ensure that all votes are counted.”

Buttigieg declared victory on Feb. 3, with no results yet released, which prompted consternation among his rivals, including Sanders, who declared victory on Feb. 6 with all the results reported.

“By all indications, we are going onto New Hampshire victorious,” Buttigieg told supporters. His campaign later said he was citing internal data.

buttigieg and sanders
(L) Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks onstage at “First in the West” event in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Nov. 17, 2019. (Bridget Bennett/AFP via Getty Images) (R) Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg talks to the press after a Sunday morning service at Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina, on Dec. 1, 2019. (Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was in third place with 18 percent of the total equivalents, former Vice President Joe Biden in fourth with 15.8 percent, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) in fifth with 12.3 percent.

Biden, who was widely seen as the Democratic front runner in 2019, tried to put a positive spin on his performances in the caucuses.

“I’m not going to sugarcoat it: We took a gut punch in Iowa,” Biden told supporters at a rally in New Hampshire on Feb. 5. “The whole process took a gut punch. But look, this isn’t the first time in my life I’ve been knocked down.”

New Hampshire’s Democratic primary will take place on Feb. 11.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.