The Iowa Democratic Party certified the results from the state’s caucuses on Saturday, with former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg slightly leading Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in state delegate equivalents.
The certification comes nearly a month after Iowans caucused on February 3, a process that descended into chaos due to poor planning by the state party, a faulty app that was supposed to calculate results and an overwhelmed call center. That uncertainty led results to be delayed — no results were reported until the day after the caucuses — and created a drawn-out process with both Buttigieg and Sanders’ campaigns raising concerns.
CNN reported Friday that the Sanders campaign filed a challenge to the results of the partial recount, which was included in Saturday’s certification by the party’s State Central Committee in a 26-14, vote, saying the party violated its rules by complying with the Buttigieg campaign’s partial recanvass and recount requests.
Both campaigns requested partial recanvass and recount requests earlier this month, as outlined in the state party’s two-part process. The final recount results were completed on Thursday.
The challenge is now in the hands of the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, which has jurisdiction to adjudicate alleged rules violations from a campaign.
“The Iowa Democratic Party has followed the rules and procedures outlined in our Delegate Selection Plan,” Iowa Democratic Party Communications Director Mandy McClure said in a statement after the certification Saturday.
“The state party has conducted the requested recanvass and recount under the rules of the DSP and Recount/Recanvass Manual. The implementation charge is directed to the DNC, and the IDP will continue to follow the DSP accordingly on any ongoing process.”
Buttigieg won 14 national delegates from Iowa, according to the Iowa Democratic Party. Sanders received 12, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren won eight, former Vice President Joe Biden won six, and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar received one.
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.
The drawn-out process in Iowa blunted the momentum that several candidates, especially Buttigieg, received from Iowa.
Buttigieg told CNN on Friday that “if we had been able to see final certified results showing our victory that day instead of weeks later, that would have been a benefit.”
“But nothing can take away from the extraordinary nature of what happened there and the propulsion that that gave to our campaign,” he added.
The chaos around the caucuses have also raised questions about whether the state should keep its coveted status as the first state to cast votes in the presidential primary process, with multiple top Democratic officials arguing the state party’s inability to administer the caucus this month should lead to changes.
This story has been updated to include additional background information and to reflect amended information provided by the state party.