Iowa Democrats rush "quality checks" after "inconsistencies"
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The conclusive results on the Iowa Democratic caucuses are coming in later than expected tonight, with the state party reporting the need to do "quality checks."
- Des Moines County Democratic Chair Tom Courtney is blaming election technology for the delay and calling a new caucus reporting app "a mess," AP reports.
- "The app is the issue and the hotline is smoked," volunteer Joe Galasso told NBC News.
What's next: The Iowa State Democratic Party said... "The integrity of the results is paramount. We have experienced a delay in the results due to quality checks and the fact that the Iowa Democratic Party is reporting out three data sets for the first time."
- "What we know right now is that around 25% of precincts have reported, and early data indicates turnout is on pace for 2016."
In a subsequent statement by Iowa Democratic Party spokesperson Mandy McClure:
- "We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results. In addition to the tech systems being used to tabulate results, we are also using photos of results and a paper trail to validate that all results match and ensure that we have confidence and accuracy in the numbers we report.
- "This is simply a reporting issue, the app did not go down and this is not a hack or intrusion. The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results."
Why it matters: There's a real chance that different campaigns walk away with different types of "wins."
- Most raw votes in the first round of voting
- Most raw votes after the second round of voting
- Most delegates overall
Between the lines: The current Iowa polling top four are Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders at 22%, Pete Buttigieg at 18%, and Elizabeth Warren at 15%.
- One potential surprise could be whether Amy Klobuchar (currently at 8%) can clear the 15% threshold in a number of precincts.
The big picture: 2020 is the first year that the caucuses will release the raw vote totals, allowing voters in other states to get a sense of how the middle tier candidates are doing.
- In tonight's caucuses, supporters of candidates who fail to secure 15% after the first round will be able to swap sides.
- This will give campaigns and voters alike a tangible example of how candidates in the top tier perform among second-choice voters.
On the ground: The "buzz going around" is that this might be the "craziest — it seems the busiest" caucus in a long time, Phil Chia of Des Moines told Axios' Alexi McCammond and Margaret Talev when they dropped by Lincoln High School, where Chia is the activities director, just after lunchtime.
- Multiple precincts will be caucusing in various rooms at his school tonight — Chia counted off two gymnasiums, the library, three classrooms, the cafeteria, the band room and the choir room.
- While caucus organizers were asked not to start setting up until late afternoon after the students had left for the day, Chia said he got several drop-bys starting around 9 am just to check things out.
- The Iowa Democratic Party was also heard live on CNN hanging up on a precinct chair after an hour on hold to report an issue with the reporting app.
The bottom line: Spot-on quote from Todd Dorman of The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette in a column titled, "Goodbye media. You'll miss the ranch dressing":
- "Iowans don’t always pick winners, but the fear of picking a loser this time is palpable."