DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Democratic Party is agreeing to recount the results in about two dozen of almost 1,700 precinct caucuses as part of the ongoing process to resolve the weeks-long question of who won Iowa’s tarnished presidential caucuses.
Campaign officials for former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders asked for a combined 23 precincts to be recounted. That happened after the state party invited campaigns to request recounts in light of results of a recanvass which showed Buttigieg finishing a tiny fraction of a percentage point ahead of Sanders in the delegate equivalency.
The initial results, which showed Buttigieg with a slightly larger lead, were thrown into question after a recanvass of the contest showed mathematical errors.
It’s the latest chapter in an ongoing story of uncertainty about the caucuses, after a technical problem with an electronic reporting app prevented hundreds of volunteer caucus leaders in many of the 1,675 precincts from reporting their results.
The breakdown kept the state party from reporting final results for three days after the Feb. 3 kickoff presidential contest, stalling some of the momentum Buttigieg had hoped to seize before the Feb. 11 New Hampshire primary.
That uncertainty has kept The Associated Press from calling the race, and has led to the resignation of Troy Price, who, as chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, was responsible for the execution of the internationally watched lead-off presidential nominating event.
The recount is to be conducted by independent administrators beginning on Feb. 25 under the supervision of a state party committee and representatives of the Buttigieg and Sanders campaigns.