The Iowa Democratic Party announced on Friday that it was extending the time that campaigns have to call for a recanvass or recount of the Iowa caucuses, further drawing out the chaos that has consumed the state’s caucus process.
The deadline had been noon CT/1 p.m. ET on Friday, but the party said it was moving the deadline to the same time on Monday, giving campaigns three additional days to review the results and decide whether they want to challenge them.
The state party added that campaigns have until Saturday at noon CT/1 p.m. ET to “submit documentary evidence of inconsistencies between the data reported and the records of result for correction.”
This means that the results from Iowa will not be finalized until at least a full week after Iowans across the state caucuses on February 3.
Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price told reporters on Friday that the mistakes made during the Iowa caucuses were “categorically unacceptable,” but dodged most questions about the issues surrounding the mistakes by saying they will be made public through the “course of the (independent) investigation” that the party plans to undertake.
But Price did reveal during the question and answer portion of the press conference that at no point did he actually use the app before the caucuses. And the chairman would not say how long the party had the app for testing before it was rolled out to precinct chairs and other Iowa volunteers.
“I reviewed certain pieces of the layout and stuff like that,” Price said. “But I did not actually use the app because I was not going to be in my caucus on Monday night.”
With 100% precincts reporting, Pete Buttigieg holds a slim lead over Bernie Sanders in the caucuses. The former South Bend, Indiana, mayor leads the Vermont senator by one-tenth of one percentage point in the all-important state delegate equivalent count. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar trail the top two candidates.
Sanders on Friday confirmed for the first time that his campaign will not ask for a full recanvass of the Iowa results in a one-on-one interview with CNN’s Ryan Nobles. Sanders did point out that there were some precincts that had irregularities that he wants the Iowa Democratic party to look at.
“We’re not going to ask for recanvass of the whole state, that we’re certainly not going to do. But I think there were some precincts, where there were some pretty apparent irregularities and The New York Times noticed it, NBC noticed it, other media noticed it. I think we will ask the Iowa Democratic Party to take a look at those precincts” Sanders told CNN.
Delays in reporting the Iowa results, along with errors in what has been reported, have rocked the Democratic nomination process. Multiple candidates have claimed victory and others have seen their poor performances obscured.
Price apologized for the issues, primarily the breakdown of the party’s war room on caucus night that left precinct chairs across the state unable to report their results. On Friday, Price called for an “independent investigation of what happened is necessary once we finalize the results.”
Price’s apology did little to quell the concerns of top party officials. Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez called for there to be a recanvass on Thursday.
Perez, though, has no role in the initiation of a recanvass process – that has to be done by a presidential campaign. And Price said on Friday that he would not initiate a recanvass just because Perez called for one.
“One of my north stars is that we must follow the rules that we have,” Price said. “And so the rules state that person who can request re-canvass is a candidate themselves.”
And there is no indication that any campaigns are eager to make that call.
“We’ve got enough of Iowa,” Sanders said during a CNN town hall on Thursday night. “Move on to New Hampshire.”
Buttigieg, too, seemed uninterested in initiating the recanvass process.
Buttigieg said at his own CNN town hall that he would “leave it to the party” to decide on what is necessary.
“What I’ll say is nothing can take away what happened on Monday,” Buttigieg said. “Just an extraordinary moment for the movement that we have built and now we’re looking ahead to New Hampshire and beyond.”
This story has been updated with additional reporting.