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More than one week after the first-in-the-nation nominating contest took place, results are still murky: The Iowa Democratic Party projected that Pete Buttigieg, the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor, would capture two more state delegates than Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during last week’s chaotic caucuses, while Sanders won the popular vote. Sanders’ campaign, citing “widespread issues and miscalculations” of delegates, has requested a partial recanvass of 25 precincts and three satellite caucuses that could increase his tally by one national delegate.
In the days following the chaos, DNC Chair Tom Perez criticized the state party, which ran the caucuses, and Shadow Inc.
But a copy of an Oct. 14 contract between Shadow and the Iowa Democratic Party obtained by Yahoo specified that the app maker had to work with the national party and provide it with access to its software for testing.
“Consultant agrees to work with the DNC Services Corporation / Democratic National Committee (‘DNC’) on an on-going basis as Consultant develops the software,” the contract reads.
One email reportedly showed that the CEO of the DNC, Seema Nanda, and the DNC’s deputy chief technology officer, Kat Atwater, were both involved in drafting the contract and requested the provision granting them access to the app.
Troy Price, the chairman of the IDP, resigned in the wake of the Feb. 3 caucuses.
State officials paid Shadow, a tech firm, more than $63,000 in two separate payments in November and December last year for "website development," according to state campaign finance records. Those payments were for the app the caucus site leaders were supposed to use to upload the results at their 1,765 precincts. But the system quickly broke down last Monday night, requiring the party to enter data manually once it was clear there was an issue.
Joining Sanders in calling for a recanvass is Perez. Last week, he called on Iowa party officials to immediately recanvass, or essentially perform a second check of the vote. It would require the Iowa Democratic Party to review worksheets from each of the state’s precincts, he said.
"Enough is enough," Perez wrote in a tweet. "In light of the problems that have emerged in the implementation of the delegate selection plan and in order to assure public confidence in the results, I am calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to immediately begin a recanvass."
Further complicating results were reports of inconsistencies and other flaws in the data, irregularities that could sow more uncertainty about the outcome.
According to a New York Times analysis, more than 100 precincts reported results that were “internally inconsistent," missing data or were impossible under the complex rules of the Iowa caucuses. In some cases, the Times reported, tallies did not add up, while in others, precincts are shown allotting the wrong number of delegates to certain candidates. Other times, the data provided by the state party do not match the same results released by the precinct.
The Times reported that there was no apparent bias in favor of either Sanders or Buttigieg.