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Bernie Sanders campaign challenges Iowa recount results

Drew Angerer

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign challenged the results of the Iowa caucuses recount just hours after the state’s Democratic Party released its results Thursday night.

The recount had been requested by both Sanders’ campaign and the campaign of former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

In a complaint sent to the Iowa Democratic Party and Democratic National Committee, the Sanders campaign claims the state party violated its own rules by allowing the Buttigieg campaign to partake in the process because they didn’t meet the proper requirements.

“[T]he request submitted by the Buttigieg Campaign was deficient because it failed to provide an explanation of how the national delegation could be altered,” 18 potential Sanders delegates wrote in the challenge. “Because he did not…[the] request was deficient and should have been denied.”

The Iowa Democratic Party reported Thursday that Buttigieg held his lead over Sanders with the most state delegate equivalents after a recount of select caucus sites.

Neither the order of finish nor the national delegate allocation previously announced by the party changed as a result of the recount, which covered 23 precincts.

After the results of the recount were announced, Ben Halle, a spokesman for Buttigieg said, “yet again, these results confirm Pete won the Iowa caucuses. Pete was the only candidate that was able to form a broad-based coalition across the state and across ideological differences.”

The IDP’s recanvas and recount rules allow for a two-part process in which both parts compel a campaign to show evidence the national delegate numbers could change based on the outcome of the recanvas or recount.

Iowa allocated 14 and 12 of their national delegates to Buttigieg and Sanders, respectively.

After two victories in New Hampshire and Nevada, Sanders currently leads in national delegates, according to a CNN estimate.

The Sanders complaint was sent to both the state party and the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee co-chairs. Any campaign can make a challenge regarding an alleged delegate allocation violation to the rules committee for review and adjudication.

Both Buttigieg and Sanders campaigns requested a recanvas after the confusion over Iowa results of the caucuses.

In a recanvas, the state party reviews the worksheets used by precinct chairs to calculate the results. The recanvas of more than 100 precincts showed a tightening of the margin between the campaigns, with Buttigieg maintaining a fractional lead.

Both campaigns then requested a partial recount after the results of the recanvas, which the state party granted. The results released Thursday night also maintain a state delegate lead for Buttigieg.

Results from the caucuses, including the recount, are set to be certified on Saturday.

“State delegate equivalents” are used in Iowa to determine the national delegate allocation of the caucuses’ results.

Article Topic Follows: Politics

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