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Iowa Democratic Party accepts recanvass requests from Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg

Nevada hopes for smoother run after Iowa
Nevada caucus hopes for smoother run after Iowa 05:00

The Iowa Democratic Party announced Wednesday it has accepted requests from Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg for a limited recanvass of results from last week's Democratic caucuses.

Iowa Democratic Party chairman Troy Price notified the two presidential campaigns in separate letters that the state party's Recanvass/Recount Committee will conduct the partial recanvass of specific precincts and satellite sites. The audit, overseen by recanvass administrators, is set to begin February 16 and last two days.

On Friday, the Iowa Democratic Party is expected to send the campaigns additional details on the costs associated with recanvass and timeline moving forward. The presidential campaigns will then have 24 hours to decide whether they want to proceed. 

Sanders requested the Iowa Democratic Party conduct a recanvass of 25 precincts and the satellite sites, while Buttigieg called for a recanvass of 57 precincts and all in-state satellite sites after last week's caucuses descended into chaos as the party, plagued by technical snafus, failed to report any results on the same night as the voting contest.

Sanders' campaign told the Iowa Democratic Party in its request that it had identified mathematical errors and inconsistencies that led Buttigieg to receive too many state delegate equivalents and Sanders too few. A correction of the discrepancies, Sanders said, could result in his being awarded one more national delegate. If that were to happen, he and Buttigieg would be tied in the number of national delegates allocated by Iowa.

Buttigieg, meanwhile, informed the state party his campaign had found three different types of errors that, once corrected, would give him a net increase of 14 state delegates.

The latest release of data from the Iowa Democratic Party put Buttigieg slightly ahead of Sanders in estimated national delegates that will be awarded in the Iowa caucuses. Estimates from CBS News and the Iowa Democratic Party show Buttigieg received 14 delegates and Sanders received 12.

The results came under scrutiny after reporting was delayed because of issues with a mobile phone app designed to collect and transmit the results. Precinct chairs who opted to use a hotline to report results to state party officials, meanwhile, faced wait times that in some cases were hours long before they could connect with a representative to share caucus results.

The Iowa Democratic Party defines a recanvass as a "hand audit" of caucus math worksheets from precincts in comparison with publicly-reported numbers.

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