The Iowa Democratic Party released more results over the weekend—but since the party will not be correcting obvious errors on some precinct results, the outcome of the caucuses remains very much in question.
According to the Iowa Democrats, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg retained his razor-thin lead in state delegate equivalents, giving him 14 national delegates to 12 for Sen. Bernie Sanders (who led the popular vote), eight for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, six for former Vice President Joe Biden, and one for Sen. Amy Klobuchar. But Sanders’ campaign is requesting a partial recanvass, and the Associated Press—a leader in election results and race calls—is continuing to refrain from declaring a winner.
The New York Times reports that though nearly 5% of the precincts remain problematic, the Iowa Democratic Party will not correct errors on the “caucus math worksheets,” official documents used by volunteer precinct leaders. According to an internal email from a lawyer for the party, “The incorrect math on the Caucus Math Worksheets must not be changed to ensure the integrity of the process.” That’s true even in cases in which there are obvious miscalculations, virtually ensuring that controversy over the results will continue. The caucus math worksheet “is the legal voting record of the caucus, like a ballot,” the lawyer wrote.
And apparently correcting incorrect math would introduce “personal opinion” into the process: “Any judgment of math miscalculations would insert personal opinion into the process by individuals not at the caucus and could change the agreed upon results. That action would be interfering with the caucus’ expression of their preferences. There are various reasons that the worksheets have errors and may appear to not be accurate, however changing the math would change the information agreed upon and certified by the caucusgoers.”
While it’s extremely unfortunate that these official records of the caucuses have errors in them, if someone added numbers incorrectly in a way that shows up on said official record, it’s not a personal opinion to say that 2+2=4. And the Iowa Democratic Party is trading away its credibility here—what little is left of it.