Iowa Democratic Party Chair Calls for Independent Investigation Into Chaotic Caucuses

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news.
February 7, 2020Updated: February 8, 2020

The Iowa Democratic Party chairman called for an independent probe into the recent caucuses in Iowa, which have been plagued by technological and reporting issues.

Troy Price, the chairman of the party, or IDP, said that 100 percent of the results were reported, but the party is still working on ensuring the results were accurate.

Even when the results are finalized, “an independent investigation of what happened is necessary,” Price said in a statement Friday night, just hours before the Democratic presidential debate in New Hampshire.

“We will be undergoing an independent, forensic review,” Price added to reporters on Friday in Des Moines, according to The Associated Press. “What went right? What went wrong? Start to finish.”

Though 100 percent of the results were released, “due to delays in reporting and some inconsistencies in data, the IDP continues to be fully committed to ensuring the data reported matches the precinct records of result,” the party said in a statement.

Both South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, 38, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have declared victory in Iowa, and the muddied results have led to infighting in the party as voters seek a nominee to challenge President Donald Trump.

Price’s call for a probe came after Tom Perez, the Democratic National Committee chairman, called for a recanvass of the state on Thursday. He later clarified his call, saying he only wanted a recanvass of precincts with reporting inconsistencies.

Price rebuffed Perez’s call, saying it was up to campaigns to ask for a recanvass or recount, as outlined in the party’s rules.

If a campaign did request a recanvass, the party would audit the paper records of the report, as provided by the precinct chairs and signed by representatives of presidential campaigns, Price said.

Epoch Times Photo
This combination of Jan. 26, 2020, photos show at left, Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Jan. 26, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa; and at right Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in Sioux City, Iowa. (AP Photo)

“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 said in a statement.

“While I fully acknowledge that the reporting circumstances on Monday night were unacceptable, we owe it to the thousands of Iowa Democratic volunteers and caucusgoers to remain focused on collecting and reviewing incoming results.”

The party said a deadline initially slated for Feb. 7 for campaigns to request a recanvass would be extended until noon Central Time on Monday after a vote by its Party Recanvass/Recount Committee.

Campaigns would also have an opportunity to submit any documentary evidence of what campaign officials believed were discrepancies in the results. The deadline to submit such evidence was Saturday at noon.

Price told reporters at a press conference in Des Moines that the party would be allocating national delegates over the weekend. The allocation is based on the third number reached during the caucuses, state delegate equivalents.

Buttigieg said at a CNN town hall meeting on Thursday that Democratic officials should do “whatever they need to do in order to make sure that the information is clear and verified.”

Asked if he’d request a recanvass, Buttigieg suggested he would not. “I’ll leave it to the party to get into that,” he said.

Sanders told a CNN reporter on Friday that he would also not ask for a recanvass. He said there were “some pretty apparent irregularities” in some precincts, adding: “I think we will ask the Iowa Democratic Party to take a look at those precincts.”