Des Moines Register Calls for Audit of Sanders-Clinton Result in Iowa
The only group to declare Iowa a victory was Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Anyone else with a sensible mind knows that the caucus system is heavily flawed and that coin tosses should never dictate the future political history of the country.
The Des Moines Register has called for a “complete audit” of the recent Iowa Democratic caucuses in light of the 0.2 percent “victory” that Clinton scored.
“Once again the world is laughing at Iowa. Late-night comedians and social media mavens are having a field day with jokes about missing caucusgoers and coin flips,” the Register’s editorial board writes Wednesday night.
“That’s fine. We can take ribbing over our quirky process. But what we can’t stomach is even the whiff of impropriety or error,” it wrote.
The Hill reports:
Hillary Clinton edged out Sanders by just 0.2 percentage points, a margin the Register notes would trigger recounts in other states. Sanders’ campaign has said it is working with its Iowa staff to confirm those results, which the party certified early Tuesday morning.
The caucuses are run differently than a typical primary process.
In the Democrats’ process, voters physically arrange themselves around the room to signal their support for a presidential candidate and are counted by precinct captains. Ties can be settled by coin flips, and reports out of Iowa suggest that a handful of delegates were assigned by pure chance.
That makes a full recount impossible, and a Democratic official confirmed to The Hill Monday night that there is no recount provision.
The Sanders campaign has called on the party to release the raw vote totals at each precinct. Historically, the party only publicly releases how many delegates the candidate won out of each precinct. Sanders has accused the party of failing to staff precincts with independent staffers.
The Register, which endorsed Clinton, is calling for a full audit that would include a release of raw vote totals and the results of coin tosses.
“Too many questions have been raised. Too many accounts have arisen of inconsistent counts, untrained and overwhelmed volunteers, confused voters, cramped precinct locations, a lack of voter registration forms and other problems,” the Register writes.
“Too many of us, including members of the Register editorial board who were observing caucuses, saw opportunities for error amid Monday night’s chaos.”
The Register notes that the party’s refusal to provide additional accountability “confirm[s] the suspicions, wild as they may be, of Sanders supporters.”
“Their candidate, after all, is opposed by the party establishment — and wasn’t even a Democrat a few months ago,” the board writes.
Sam Lau, a spokesperson with the Iowa Democratic Party, told The Hill in a statement that the party is working to address any concerns by the candidates of the “historically close contest.”
“We are working with all campaigns on individual concerns they are bringing to us, and addressing them on a case-by-case basis,” he said.
“Just yesterday, we met with the Sanders campaign who brought us a small amount of specific concerns, and the Clinton campaign has also asked us a small amount of questions. We will look into these concerns and reach out to our county party leadership with any questions.”
Photo credit: Raw Story.