Home Politics DNC chair calls for immediate ‘recanvass’

DNC chair calls for immediate ‘recanvass’


Volunteers consult a map of Iowa with divided target voter zones at a field office for Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on February 1, 2020 in Waterloo, Iowa.

Mark Makela | Getty Images

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez called on Thursday for an immediate “recanvass” of Iowa as concerns mounted about the integrity of the results from Monday’s first-in-the-nation caucuses in the state.

“Enough is enough,” Perez wrote in a post on Twitter. “In light of the problems that have emerged in the implementation of the delegate selection plan and in order to assure public confidence in the results, I am calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to immediately begin a recanvass.”

Perez’s tweet came hours after The New York Times said that its analysis of the Iowa results revealed inconsistencies in data from more than 100 precincts.

In a follow up tweet, Perez said a recanvass “is a review of the worksheets from each caucus site to ensure accuracy.”

Daniel Wessel, a spokesperson for the DNC, referred CNBC to the Iowa Democratic Party’s manual, which defines a recanvass as a “a hand audit of Caucus Math Worksheets and Reporting Forms to ensure that they were tallied and reported in the telephone intake sheets and caucus reporting application correctly.”

The Iowa Democratic Party didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Perez’s tweet is sure to inject even more uncertainty into a process that has threatened to upend the public trust in Iowa’s caucus results, which historically have shaped the narrative of Democratic presidential primaries. 

Monday’s caucus has been plagued with problems, including the failure of an app that was supposed to be used for the reporting of results from nearly 1,700 precincts. The state party has insisted that despite the app’s problems, the underlying data is accurate. It has slowly released results throughout the week.

As of Thursday morning, the party released data from 97% of precincts that showed former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., vying for the lead.

But the precinct-level data has come under scrutiny from journalists and public observers, raising questions about the integrity of the election results. There is no evidence that the errors were intentional or designed to favor any candidate in particular.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who according to the data lags the two front-runners as well as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., called his performance a “gut punch” on Wednesday but vowed to press on. Biden is holding onto a lead in national polling and is expected to perform well in South Carolina, the fourth state to host a nominating contest, which has a large minority of black voters. 

Republicans, including President Donald Trump, have celebrated the unfolding drama.

“When will the Democrats start blaming RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA, instead of their own incompetence for the voting disaster that just happened in the Great State of Iowa?” Trump wrote Tuesday in a post on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the debacle has reignited criticism of Iowa’s outsized role in the nominating process. In a press conference on Tuesday, IDP chair Troy Price brushed off those concerns as a “conversation that happens every four years” and said his focus was on making sure that the caucus results got out. 

He said the party was taking a number of steps to verify the results were accurate. 

“We’re gonna continue to go through our processes, verifying everything,” Price said. “But the thing to remember here folks is that we have a paper trail. We have always said all along that throughout this process, we have backups to the system, that we have redundancies built in.”

— CNBC’s Brian Schwartz contributed to this report. 

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