Iowa Democratic Caucus Results to Start Being Released by 5 PM

February 4, 2020 Updated: February 4, 2020

The Iowa Democratic Party told presidential campaigns on Tuesday that it would start releasing results from Monday’s caucuses by 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

“We are going to release the majority of results that we have by 4 [CT] p.m. today,” Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price told campaigns in a conference call.

Results were initially scheduled to start being released on Monday night but were delayed because of “coding issues” plaguing an application that was developed for the caucuses, Price said in a statement on Tuesday.

The app delivered only partial results but the underlying data was sound and the app “was recording data accurately,” Price said in the statement.

Paper documentation of the caucuses was used to verify the data from the application and precinct heads were manually reporting results to the party, causing the delay.

Price spoke with campaigns on Tuesday afternoon over the phone.

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People participate in a 2020 Democratic caucus at a fire station in Kellogg, Iowa, on Feb. 3, 2020. (Brenna Norman/Reuters)

“We have always said that we have a paper trail in this process,” Price told campaigns on a briefing call. “We’ve always had to chase down results.”

Price declined to answer pointed questions from frustrated campaign representatives about when the party would release the full results or how it could ensure their integrity—even whether it would be a matter of days or weeks.

The problems started on Monday night as candidates waited for results to be reported. Iowa Democratic Party spokeswoman Mandy McClure said in an initial statement that results were delayed “due to quality checks” and in a later statement said there were “inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results.”

Price said Tuesday that as precinct caucus results started coming in, an accuracy and quality check showed inconsistencies with the reports. “The underlying cause of these inconsistencies was not immediately clear, and required investigation, which took time,” he said.

Entering the data manually took longer than expected and some results were still being reported on Tuesday.

Democratic presidential candidates still gave speeches to supporters, choosing different ways to handle the delay. Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg claimed victory while Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) campaign released internal reporting numbers it said showed Sanders winning the caucuses.

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Caucus goers check in at a caucus at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa, on Feb. 3, 2020. (Andrew Harnik/AP Photo)

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) expressed confidence in how she did and Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) chief strategist, Joe Rospars, said she was in a “very close race” with Sanders and Buttigieg, claiming former Vice President Joe Biden “came a distant fourth.”

Biden’s campaign questioned the actions of the Iowa Democratic Party. Dana Remus, a lawyer for the campaign, wrote to the party late Monday saying that “the campaigns deserve full explanations and relevant information regarding the methods of quality control you are employing, and an opportunity to respond, before any official results are reached.”

Much focus on Tuesday was on the application that failed to work correctly for the caucuses. Developed by a company called Shadow Inc., the app was developed by a team of people involved in the presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, fueling notions that the caucuses were stacked against perceived outsiders like Sanders.

The Department of Homeland Security said they offered to vet the app but were rebuffed.

“Right now, we don’t see any malicious cyber activity going on. No one hacked into it,” Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said. “This is more of a stress or a load issue as well as a reporting issue that we’re seeing in Iowa.”

Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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