‘Complete Audit’ of Clinton-Sanders Results Demanded in Iowa

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders / AP
• February 4, 2016 1:16 pm


Iowa’s largest newspaper is demanding a "complete audit" into the results of the Iowa Democratic caucus that saw Hillary Clinton narrowly edge out Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) by 0.2 percentage points.

"The results were too close not to do a complete audit of results," the editorial board of the Des Moines Register wrote late Wednesday.

The editorial board, which endorsed Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president last month,  demanded that the chair of the Iowa Democratic Party "work with all the campaigns to audit results" and release raw vote totals in addition to the results of coin tosses. The editorial cited a Sanders campaign representative who said his campaign has already detected inconsistencies when rechecking the results.

Andy McGuire, the state party chair, has refused to work with the Sanders campaign to compare results. The editorial board charged that McGuire’s actions merely "confirm the suspicions" of Sanders supporters that the party is favoring Clinton.

"What happened Monday night at the Democratic caucuses was a debacle, period. Democracy, particularly at the local party level, can be slow, messy and obscure. But the refusal to undergo scrutiny or allow for an appeal reeks of autocracy," the editorial board wrote.

"The Iowa Democratic Party must act quickly to assure the accuracy of the caucus results, beyond a shadow of a doubt."

Various news outlets deemed the Democratic caucus too close to call Monday night, when Clinton and Sanders were separated by well under 1 percentage point. The Associated Press did not declare Clinton the winner until early Tuesday afternoon, 0.2 percentage points separating her from Sanders.

The Clinton campaign declared victory hours earlier. Still, the Sanders campaign refused to concede the race.

"Too many accounts have arisen of inconsistent counts, untrained and overwhelmed volunteers, confused voters, cramped precinct locations, a lack of voter registration forms and other problems," the Register editorial read. "Too many of us, including members of the Register editorial board who were observing caucuses, saw opportunities for error amid Monday night’s chaos."

The demand comes days before Clinton and Sanders are set to face off in the Democratic primary in New Hampshire, where Sanders holds a sizable lead over the former secretary of state.