Iowa Democrats to start partial caucus recount

Iowans watch for results from their home state after attending a satellite caucus in Washington, D.C. Photo by Robin Bravender/States Newsroom

The Iowa Democratic Party’s weeks-long effort to complete its report of caucus results is entering what could be its final phase.

The state party announced Friday that it had completed its assessment of requests for recounts of caucus results from the campaigns of Sen. Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg.  The party said in a release that it would recount 10 precincts submitted by the Sanders campaign and 14 precincts submitted by the Buttigieg campaign for a net of 23 unique precincts.

The Iowa Caucuses were Feb. 3, but a breakdown in a reporting app and other glitches delayed the release of results for several days. Now, the Iowa Democratic Party is in the process of rechecking results that have been challenged by the two campaigns.

In the meantime, the party elected a new chairman, state Rep. Mark Smith, after the resignation of former party chairman Troy Price.

After a recanvass of 143 precincts and satellite sites conducted earlier this week, Buttigieg had 14 national delegates and Sanders had 12.  The recanvass involved an audit of so-called “caucus math worksheets” turned in to the state party from each precinct, to ensure the results were reported correctly.

The campaigns then asked for a limited recount of results, which would involve an audit of presidential preference cards that individual caucusgoers filled out.

If the campaigns agree to pay for their share of the recount, it will start on Tuesday and last for two days, the state party said in its release.

That means the Iowa caucus results will not be wrapped up before Nevada holds its primaries on Saturday.  They could be complete in time to give the winner some bragging rights headed into the South Carolina primary on Feb. 29.