Inaccuracy in Caucus Reporting

The Iowa Republican, Caffeinated Thoughts, and KCCI reported on a claim that the caucus results we saw on the internet were not completely accurate. Edward True, a Ron Paul supporter, claims that his district misreported 22 votes for Romney when Rommney actually received 2. Evidently True is not claiming and intentional act; but the 20 votes are significant: they would award the win to Santorum.

An unnamed party spokeswoman stated that True has no business talking about the election results, implying that only a precinct captain or county chairperson has that right. Whoops. True maintains he has every right both as a member of the caucus and as a count observer. I agree with True, what is the point of observers if they have a gag order on them?

Matt Strawn, party chairman, correctly avoided such a silly statement implying secrecy in the reporting process. Still, I would like to see an explicit rejection of the spokeswoman’s hasty words. Strawn pointed out that the results were not certified then and they are not certified now. The party has 14 days from caucus to certify the results. There is nothing unusual about this; probably no election is certified the night it occurs. What makes this interesting is the possibility that first place was incorrectly called because this race was so closely contested. As Craig Robinson of the Iowa Republican put it: “The Iowa GOP has 14 days to certify the results and they do expect to find errors such as transposed numbers and other irregularities.”

With proportional delegation,  it won’t make a significant difference in electoral votes who got first place. But even that small difference will be probably settled before that state convention when the delegates will actually choose the presidential electors.

Romney’s claim to be “the winner” is being questioned. Santorum’s campaign would have liked to claimed that title on caucus night. The public wants to satisfy its curiosity, sometimes in the same way that they want to know who won the Rose Bowl. Pundits want something to write or talk about.

But certification of the winner in a virtual tie does not happen overnight. Not in Iowa not anywhere. We’re  just going to have to deal with it.

Does that make Iowa look bad? Only to those who have an axe to grind.

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