Iowa caucuses delay results due to ‘quality checks’

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Democrat voters in Iowa have been left on edge over which candidate will get an early boost in the battle to take on Donald Trump in November. The results are slow in coming in a crowded race that is too close to call.

The Iowa Democratic Party said Monday that results from the first selection process to choose who will run against US President Donald Trump in November elections had been delayed.

Apparent technology issues in a new app had caused “inconsistencies” in reporting, the party said in a statement.

State party chairman Troy Price told reporters that votes were now being counted by hand and would be released “later on Tuesday.”

The Republican Party is also holding caucuses in the Midwest state, but Trump had no serious competition. The incumbent president was quickly confirmed the party’s winner.

The latest:

  • Democratic organizers announced around 9:50 p.m. local time that results would be delayed due to “quality checks.”
  • The breakdown was reportedly related to a new app used to count votes.
  • Polls suggest Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has a narrow lead.
  • Other leading candidates, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, a progressive, and ex-Mayor of South Bend Indiana Pete Buttigieg, could also score a victory.
  • Billionaire and ex-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, another Democratic candidate, did not take part in the early voting states.
  • Organizers readied for a record turnout, with more than 200,000 people expected to participate.

How do the caucuses work?

A total of 11 candidates are currently vying to lead the Democratic ticket.

More than 1,600 caucus sites will declare support for their preferred presidential choice.

For citizens, caucuses demand more effort than ballot-based primaries, where people mark a ballot paper for their preferred candidate. In the case of Iowa, those supporting a particular candidate must spend an hour or more standing up, in both a metaphorical and literal sense, for the one they are backing.

Two rounds of voting occur in which a candidate needs to receive a minimum 15% threshold of votes in order to secure any delegates to then vote for them at the Democratic National Convention in July, when the final nominee is chosen after all primaries haven ended.

DW’s Kyra Levine, who is at the caucuses in Des Moines, tweeted a photo of the voter preference card that Iowans use to declare their candidate choice:

The caucuses are also a moment to appoint delegates to county conventions and party committees, among other party activities.

Why are they important?

The caucuses are noteworthy as the first major contest of the United States presidential primary season.

The result of the caucuses will influence the Democratic nomination by helping to whittle down a congested field. Defeat in Iowa, particularly a heavy one, usually spells the end of a campaign before other states even hold their primaries.

In recent years, the winner in Iowa has also ended up becoming the Democratic nominee.

Because political momentum solidifies behind the candidates who place top in the caucuses, the event will provide a clear indication of who are the favorites to lead the party in the hope of defeating Trump.

What happens next in the presidential primary race?

Iowa is the first of more than 50 contests that will take place in the coming months. The northeast state of New Hampshire is next up, with a vote taking place just eight days after Iowa.

The key date for the diary is March 3, or “Super Tuesday.” It is when the largest number of states hold primary elections and caucuses.

On this day Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Democrats Abroad, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia will all hold their presidential primaries.

jsi/rt (dpa, AP, Reuters)

DW

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