After hours in the dark, the American people will soon begin receiving official results from Monday night’s Iowa Democratic Caucus.
According to CNN, officials from all involved campaigns were notified in a recent phone call with Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price that the intention of the party was for “the majority of results” to be released Tuesday evening.
“We want to get some results out there,” the state party chair reportedly said, promising “more than 50 percent of all results” by 5 p.m. Eastern Time.
Price did apparently reveal a substantial caveat, however, saying his team had not yet come to a final determination as to what percentage of the remaining results would be made public after that time.
NEW statement from @iowademocrats — “While the app was recording data accurately, it was reporting out only partial data. We have determined that this was due to a coding issue in the reporting system.” pic.twitter.com/kOXdcvggoe
— Maura Barrett (@MauraBarrettNBC) February 4, 2020
The update comes during the throes of a public relations nightmare for the Iowa Democratic Party, which was unable Monday night to release any official results from the opening bout in a hotly contested Democratic presidential primary due to alleged system-wide technical difficulties with the party’s new digital vote-recording application.
Those difficulties began to materialize early Monday evening as sources in multiple precincts confirmed “inconsistencies” between digitally reported results and the photographic or paper records used by the party for confirmation purposes.
The party initially suggested the issue was not directly related to the app itself but rather stemmed from problems with precincts being forced for the first time to report several results: “The original number of people who had aligned for a candidate, the numbers for each candidate upon realignment and the number of delegates awarded to each candidate,” according to The Washington Post.
“We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results,” party spokesman Mandy McClure wrote 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.”
“This is simply a reporting issue, the app did not go down and this is not a hack or an intrusion,” she added. “The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results.”
According to local and party officials on the ground, however, it seemed the issue was in fact with the newly developed vote recording software.
“The app just straight up wasn’t working,” Story County Precinct 1-1 secretary Shawn Sebastian told The Post.
And resulting statements from the party would soon mirror those realities, admitting the technical difficulty was tied to a “coding error” within the new software.
“We have determined that this was due to a coding issue in the reporting system. This issue was identified and fixed,” Price said, according to the Des Moines Register. “The application’s reporting issue did not impact the ability of precinct chairs to report data accurately.”
“While our plan is to release results as soon as possible today, our ultimate goal is to ensure that the integrity and accuracy of the process continues to be upheld,” the party chair added.
WOW! Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders are neck and neck right now in Iowa. Elizabeth Warren is not in an even more definite third. Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar are trailing more and more. Results are still scarce. #IowaCaucuses pic.twitter.com/4hqQitMBRS
— J (@j131213) February 4, 2020
Took a 5 hour nap… woke expecting to get a nice, tidy report on Iowa caucus results. THIS says it all. From 4am AP reporting. (Dems…if you can’t run a caucus…why should you be trusted with health care, the economy, etc.?) pic.twitter.com/sQ8ay7YiAv
— Mike Opelka (@stuntbrain) February 4, 2020
Regardless of the uncertainty brought about by Monday night’s technical failure, initial results from early-reporting precincts across the state — which accounted for less than two percent of caucus data — did provide something of a touchstone for how the race might pan out
And those results, quickly pulled by The Times and The Associated Press as it became clear reporting delays would not be brief, resulted in no shortage of conjecture.
Several Democratic candidates were even so bold as to declare themselves victorious in final speeches made Monday night as eyes nationwide turned to the Northeast in preparation for the similarly esteemed New Hampshire primary, which will take place Tuesday, Feb. 11.
One such candidate was former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a small-town Midwesterner and one of several so-called moderates within the Democratic primary.
Results from the earliest reporting precincts showed Buttigieg rallying substantial support, rising to a contested lead alongside widely accepted Iowa front-runner Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren close at his heels and former Vice President Joe Biden limping still further behind.
“By all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious,” Buttigieg said during a rally at Drake University in Des Moines, according to The Washington Times.
“Tonight, an improbable hope became an undeniable reality.”
Only the Iowa Democratic Party’s coming announcement of the results, however, will tell.
The Western Journal reached out to the Iowa Democratic Party for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
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