Iowa caucuses: Sanders and Buttigieg campaigns ask for result checks

10 February 2020, 21:15

Bernie Sanders (left) and Pete Buttigieg
Bernie Sanders (left) and Pete Buttigieg. Picture: PA

By Megan White

Bernie Sanders' and Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaigns have filed requests for a partial recanvass of the results of Iowa's Democratic caucuses.

Mr Sanders’ team said there were "mathematical errors and inconsistencies" in more than two dozen locations that would change the results if amended.

His rival’s campaign requested the Iowa Democratic Party check the results in 66 precincts.

The caucuses, which begin the process of choosing the Democratic Party candidate to run against President Donald Trump in November, suffered significant issues in collecting and reporting data from individual precincts.

A recanvass is not a recount but a check of the vote count against paper records to ensure the counts were reported accurately.

There were also errors in the complicated mathematical equations used to calculate the results in individual caucus sites that became evident as the party began to release data throughout the week.

On Sunday, the state party released updated caucus results that gave Mr Buttigieg a lead over Mr Sanders of two state delegate equivalents out of 2,152 counted, or 0.09 percentage points.

Iowa awards 41 national delegates in its caucuses. As it stands, Mr Buttigieg has 13 and Mr Sanders has 12.

Trailing behind are Elizabeth Warren with eight, Joe Biden with six and Amy Klobuchar with one.

The 41st and final delegate from Iowa will go to the overall winner.

While the state party said on Sunday that it belonged to Mr Buttigieg, the caucus will not formally come to an end until the campaigns' requested recanvass - and any potential recount to follow - is complete.

The Sanders campaign has outlined 25 precincts and three satellite caucuses where it believes correcting faulty maths could swing the delegate allocation in his favour and deliver him the final delegate.

In a statement, Sanders senior adviser Jeff Weaver said the campaign does not expect the recanvass to change the results of the caucuses, but he also suggested the campaign may ask for a full recount in the future.

"Once the recanvass and a subsequent recount are completed in these precincts, we feel confident we will be awarded the extra national delegate our volunteers and grassroots donors earned," he said.