With uncertainty still swirling around the results of the Iowa caucuses, the campaign for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., indicated Sunday night that it will ask the party to recanvass parts of the state’s results, triggering a process many are unfamiliar with.
Less than an hour after the results posted Sunday, the Sanders campaign announced that it would seek a partial recanvass of some precincts in which there were apparent irregularities, Fox News has confirmed. The Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) has allowed campaigns to call for a recanvass until Monday at 1 p.m. ET. The results released by the IDP show Sanders trailing Buttigieg by a small margin.
But what would a recanvass look like in Iowa? And how is it different from a recount?
Precinct captain Carl Voss, of Des Moines, Iowa, holds his iPhone that shows the Iowa Democratic Party’s caucus reporting app icon on Tuesday in Des Moines, Iowa. The app’s failure contributed to the confusion and irregularities in reporting caucus results. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
A recanvass involves simply checking the math used to tabulate the results from each caucus location. The IDP provides “Mathematics Worksheets” to caucus sites that would be consulted in the recount process, according to its delegate selection plan.
A damning analysis by The New York Times last week found that the Iowa Democratic Party’s figures were full of apparent errors, in which vote numbers from several precincts did not match totals provided by the party, and in which numerous precincts seemingly didn’t follow caucus rules.
The recanvass requested by the Sanders campaign would likely focus on precincts where such irregularities have been reported rather than the entire state, as the campaign did confirm it would request a “partial” recanvass. The state party would provide the location for the recanvass and observers from the presidential campaigns or the public would be allowed in the room, according to the Des Moines Register.
A recount, however, would involve going through each individual vote once again and tabulating the results of the caucus independent from the previous count. The party’s Delegate Selection Plan provides for the “Presidential Preference Cards” that record who each voter caucused for in both the first round and second round of the caucus to be preserved for this purpose, but they would not be used in a recanvass.
The Des Moines Register reported that a manual for the recanvass requires candidates to provide evidence of which precincts have irregularities. That should not be difficult for the Sanders campaign, which has already pointed out 14 precincts with results it questioned. It would also have to provide evidence in its request due Monday that the error or errors could have affected how many delegates the candidates will receive to the national convention this summer, the Register reported.
Currently, Buttigieg is slated to get 14 delegates and Sanders 12.
Fox News’ Gregg Re and Andrew Craft contributed to this report.