The Iowa Democratic Party is delaying releasing the results of Monday night’s Iowa caucus because of reporting inconsistencies, infuriating campaigns eager to move on with the election.
“We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results,” IDP communications director Mandy McClure said in a statement. “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.”
McClure emphasized that this was not the result of a “hack or intrusion” and that the “underlying data and paper trail is sound.”
Around 10:30 p.m. in Des Moines on Monday, during a short conference with representatives from each campaign, the IDP said they currently had just 35% of precinct numbers reported and that due to “user error” with their reporting app, they found some slight “inconsistencies,” according to participants on the call. Some numbers, the party said, “didn’t add up.”
The party told campaigns they were comparing the app results with cell phone pictures of the caucus paper worksheets, where caucus results are recorded manually by hand.
The IDP did not take any questions.
At one point, a participant could be heard shouting on the call: “This is an unbelievable explanation.” Another person chimed in, “I think he speaks for all of us.”
One campaign aide described the call as being “hung up” on.
On Twitter and even on radio and television, local officials have reported hour-long hold times with the Iowa state party while trying to report results.
The Biden campaign’s general counsel, Dana Remus, sent a sternly worded letter to the state party’s top leaders Monday night, expressing frustration with “considerable flaws” in the reporting process.
“The app that was intended to relay Caucus results to the Party failed; the Party’s back-up telephonic reporting system likewise has failed,” Remus wrote. “Now, we understand that caucus chairs are attempting to — and, in many cases, failing to — report results telephonically to the party. These acute failures are occurring statewide.”
Remus also asked that official results not be released until campaigns had a chance to hear more about “quality control” measures and respond to such information. It was not immediately clear if the letter was sent before the conference call.
“The integrity of the process is critical, and there were flaws in the reporting systems tonight that should raise serious concerns for voters,” Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, tweeted later.
J.D. Scholten, a Democratic congressional candidate in northern Iowa, was also perplexed by the glitches.
“I’m not sure what to make of it,” Scholten told TheNewstip. “I tried reporting, but I was on hold forever, so I decided to hit up my favorite local bar.”