The Iowa Democratic party announced Hilary Clinton victorious in the Iowa caucus over Bernie Sanders on Tuesday. The victory, however, comes in the form of a slim margin of 49.6 percent of delegates, and the conduct in which the individual votes were tallied is now being called in to question.
Soon after the announcement, the Sanders campaign requested that raw voting data be released to help shed light on negligent instances that are believed to be the result of a lack of Democratic party volunteers.
This has been evident with reports by officials of 171,109, a significant decline in its organizational capacity when compared to the 2008 volunteer turnout of 240,000.
This raises difficult questions when also examining reports of disorganized voting stations across districts in Iowa, issues occurred with headcounts as unregistered new voter numbers led to understaffed stations possibly providing unverifiable numbers.
Commentators have further suggested the potential contribution of problems by using electronic voting methods, and not paper ballots.
“I found it distasteful from the beginning, as did some Sanders aides, that apps from Microsoft—whose technology I do not completely trust and whose meta-establishment interests I have little faith in—played such a central role in vote counting for the Iowa caucus,” writes former policy aide Brent Budowsky.
Budowsky went on to reference “what happened after the American people voted for Al Gore for president in 2000,” as a recent example of this.
These concerns have been carried by the Sanders campaign as discrepancies between Sander’s volunteers who were able to send data over the team’s own app and the Microsoft app, used by the caucus chairs to report to the state party handling the tally.
Despite this, the Iowa results as they stand have still arguably dampened the perception of Clinton’s ability to combat Sanders’ growing popularity. Clinton originally stood with polls predicting a 50-point lead over him in Iowa.
For some time, mainstream political commentators and party leaders had reinforced such thought, predicting that Sanders would present little challenge to Clinton’s electoral machine.
[Des Moines Register] [The Guardian] [The Observer] [Time Magazine] [The Intercept] [The Washington Post] [CNN] [Photo courtesy AP]
“I think the people of Iowa have sent a very profound message to the political establishment, to the economic establishment and, by the way to the media establishment”, Sanders told supporters. “It is just too late for establishment politics.”