The chairman of the Democratic National Committee has called for a “recanvass” of the results of Monday’s Iowa caucus, which was marred by technical problems and delays.
“Enough is enough,” party leader Tom Perez wrote on Twitter, saying he was calling for the recanvass in order to “assure public confidence in the results”.
With 97% of precincts reporting in the first nominating contest on the 2020 presidential election calendar, Pete Buttigieg and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are nearly tied.
The technical glitches plaguing the first contest on the 2020 nominating calendar have made an already complicated candidate selection process even more complicated, forcing state officials to apologise and raising questions about Iowa’s traditional prime spot in picking nominees.
Enough is enough. 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.— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) February 6, 2020
The caucus crisis was an embarrassing twist after months of promoting Iowa as a chance for Democrats to find some clarity in a jumbled field.
Instead, after a buildup that featured seven rounds of debates, nearly one billion dollars spent nationwide and a year of political jockeying, caucus day ended with no winner and no official results.
Iowa marked the first contest in a primary season that will span all 50 states and several US territories, ending at the party’s national convention in July.
At issue was an app that the Iowa Democratic Party used to tabulate the results of the contest.
The app was rolled out shortly before caucusing began and did not go through rigorous testing.
A coding error yielded problematic results on Monday.
And backup phone lines for reporting the outcomes were jammed, with many placed on hold for hours in order to report outcomes.
Much of the political world has already shifted its attention to New Hampshire, which holds the first primary election in the Democrats’ 2020 nomination fight on Tuesday.
The chaos surrounding the reporting breakdown has undermined the impact of Iowa’s election, which typically rewards winners with a surge of momentum heading into subsequent primary contests.
The two early leaders are separated by 40 years in age and conflicting ideology.
Mr Sanders, a 78-year-old self-described democratic socialist, has been a progressive powerhouse for decades.
Mr Buttigieg, a 38-year-old former municipal official, represents the more moderate wing of the Democratic Party.
He is also the first openly gay candidate to earn presidential primary delegates.
Wednesday’s updated results show Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, former vice president Joe Biden and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar trailing.