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The Buttigieg and Sanders campaigns request caucus recounts


A blank presidential preference card, City High auditorium, Iowa City, Feb. 3, 2020. — Jason Smith/Little Village

The Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) is considering recount requests from the Buttigieg and Sanders campaigns. The Buttigieg campaign is requesting a recount in 54 caucus precincts, and the Sanders campaign wants recounts in 10 precincts.

The Sanders campaign publicly announced on Tuesday it would seek a recount of some caucus precincts following the IDP’s recanvass of 81 of the 1,765 Democratic precincts. Just as with the recanvass requests, the Sanders campaign publicly announced its intention to seek a partial recount before submitting its request, while the Buttigieg campaign made no announcement before requesting an even larger reexamination of the Feb. 3 caucus results.

In their official requests for the recanvass, the Sanders campaign asked for reexaminations of the results in 25 precincts and three satellite locations, while the Buttigieg campaign requested the same for 57 precincts and all 60 of the in-state satellite locations.

The recanvass was a review of the caucus math worksheets that precinct chairs used to submit results to the IDP. A recount involves examining the presidential preference cards filled out by caucus participants.

Rockne Cole hands out presidential preference cards at City High. Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

The results of the recanvass, which found errors in the reported results of 29 precincts, were announced on Tuesday. According to the IDP, in 26 precincts there was “a misapplication of the rules [that] affected delegate allocation.” In the other three precincts “the reported final alignment did not match what was on the math worksheet.”

The revised results slightly increased the number of state delegate equivalents (SDE) awarded to Sanders, narrowing the lead of Buttigieg in SDEs to 0.004 percentage points. The revision did not change the total delegates to the Democratic National Convention (DNC) awarded to each candidate.

According to the national delegate allocation the IDP announced on Feb. 10, Buttigieg will have 14 of the 41 pledged delegates Iowa sends to the DNC, and Sanders will have 12. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who finished third, earned eight delegates, while fourth-place finisher Joe Biden will have six. Sen. Amy Klobuchar was the only other candidate who qualified for delegates and was awarded one.

According to a statement from the IDP, “the Recount/Recanvass Committee — in consultation with the DNC Voter Protection Team and IDP legal advisors — will review the requests to determine whether each meets the required standard of evidence suggesting that caucus errors would change the allocation of one or more National Delegates.”

Just as with the recanvass, the campaigns will be responsible for any costs incurred by the IDP during a recount.


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