DES MOINES — A final count of national delegates awarded to presidential candidates in this week’s Iowa caucuses is coming soon, and an investigation of what went wrong with reporting the results is coming later, the Iowa Democratic Party chairman said Friday.
Troy Price told reporters that an independent investigation will examine why a new app designed to report results failed on caucus night.
“We will be undergoing an independent forensic review of the challenges that we saw on Monday night: what went right, what went wrong, from start to finish, and what we can do better in the future,” Price said.
He said the investigation will take “however long is needed” and will be delivered directly to the party’s state central committee. He said the report will be independent of himself and other state party leaders.
The state party did not complete its reporting of official results until Thursday evening, 72 hours after the caucuses.
Price said a coding error in the new app caused inconsistencies in the results being reported, and backup systems took longer than expected.
In the final results published by the state party, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg holds a slim lead over U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders in state delegate equivalents earned. Buttigieg has roughly two more state delegate equivalents in a race in which more than 2,000 were awarded.
Because the results are so close and some are being called into question, media outlets have not declared a winner.
The New York Times and Sanders’ presidential campaign have notified the Iowa Democratic Party that they found what they believe to be errors in the results published in dozens of precincts. Price said the party has asked the campaigns to highlight any results they feel are incorrect, and also has extended until Monday the deadline for campaigns to request a recount or re-canvass of the results.
The Buttigieg campaign told the Associated Press it will not request a re-canvass, and the Sanders campaign did not immediately reply to the AP’s question.
While the state delegate equivalents have been calculated, the number of national delegates awarded to the campaigns has not yet been published. Price said that should happen this weekend.
According to the Associated Press’ calculations, Buttigieg has won 13 national delegates in Iowa and Sanders 12, with one more to be awarded to the winner.
The three-day delay in reporting results instigated another national debate over Iowa’s role as the leadoff state in the presidential nominating process.
Price defended the caucuses by noting this year’s turnout — which appears to be similar to four years ago but short of the record set in 2008 — and by saying the caucuses themselves were executed efficiently Monday night. It was not until the results were being reported, Price said, that things fell apart.
Price said he will provide another update to reporters Monday after the deadline for a re-canvass request passes.
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“We have a lot of work left to do. There’s no question about that. But I will say this: We have worked tirelessly over these last four days to produce a full record from all 1,765 caucus sites,” Price said. “Now we’re going to work to finalize that process here over the next few days.