Iowa Democratic Party receives request for recanvass of 143 precincts

The Iowa Democratic Party announced on Monday it had received requests from the Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg campaigns to perform a recanvass of a combined 143 precincts.


Jenna Galligan

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price discusses the Iowa caucuses in an interview for The Daily Iowan at Prairie Lights on Friday, May 5, 2019. (Jenna Galligan)

Caleb McCullough, Politics reporter

The Iowa Democratic Party received requests for a recanvass from the campaigns of Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders in a combined 143 precincts, according to a Monday press release.

The Buttigieg campaign requested a recanvass of 66 precincts and all in-state satellite locations. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported Sunday that Sanders was expected to call for a recanvass. The Sanders campaign filed requests for a recanvass of 28 precincts.

The requests will be reviewed by the party’s Recount/Recanvass Committee to determine whether they meet the requirements, the press release said.

On Friday, the state party extended the deadline from Friday at noon to Monday at noon for candidates to request a recanvass after several inconsistencies were found in the reported results.

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price said in a press conference Monday that the recanvass would be unable to correct the caucus worksheets, even if the math on those sheets is incorrect. The sheets are signed by the precinct chair, precinct secretary, and campaign representatives.

“For us, they are the official record of what took place in the room, and we do not believe that we should be altering what is the official record of what happened in the room,” he said.

Price said the sheets could be corrected by a recount, which a candidate can call for after the recanvass is completed. Price said that the party would not change errors on the caucus worksheets unless a recount is called by a candidate.

A recanvass involves Iowa Democratic Party workers manually reviewing each of the precinct site worksheets and matching them against the official results. A recount, on the other hand, involve workers going through the preference cards handed out on caucus night, which were collected by the party, and comparing them to the results listed on the worksheets from precinct chairs.

“Our rules state exactly how the recount process should proceed and that’s what’s starting here today,” he said.

Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez has been critical of the way the Iowa Democratic Party handled the caucuses, calling for a recanvass on Thursday.

“I’m mad as hell. Everybody is,” Perez said on Jake Tapper’s State of the Union on Sunday. “And I think what we’re going to do at the end of this cycle is have a further conversation about whether or not state parties should be running elections.”

Price, who had restrained from criticizing Perez so far, said the national chair’s comments were disappointing.

“Obviously I was very disappointed by the chairman’s comments,” Price said Monday. “This has been a full partnership with the DNC throughout this entire time…What I will say is we’ve got a job to do, and that is to finish up this process. There’s going to be a time to assign blame, but I will tell you the DNC has been a partner in this process up to, including and after caucus night.”

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