Ah, memories: It was just Monday that the nation watched as Iowa returned the results of its Democratic caucuses, culminating in an extraordinarily tight finish that Bernie Sanders called a “virtual tie.” And yet, as onlookers around the country watched a contest determined by by tenths of percentage points, reports began to surface of questionable dealings in precincts throughout the Hawkeye State.
There was the CSPAN video of ostensible voter fraud among Hillary Clinton caucus-goers in Polk County. There were reports of seemingly impossible Clinton coin-toss victories in several precincts. Then arose the claim that some 90 precincts in Iowa had been left unstaffed, leaving 5 percent of the state’s results unreported.
Nonetheless, Iowa’s Democratic Party declared Clinton the official winner of its caucuses a little before 1:00 pm on Tuesday. For a brief moment, it appeared as though the questions raised Monday night had been satisfactorily settled by all involved parties.
Not so much today. This afternoon the Des Moines Register published an article by its editorial staff claiming that “something smells in the Democratic Party.” The Register called for an official audit of the caucus results, just as the Sanders campaign began its own precinct-by-precinct inquiry. The Sanders campaign also called for the state Democratic Party to release raw vote totals, but further requests for transparency have been roundly refused.
Now the only questions are: How long will the Iowa Democratic Party hold out? And when an inquest is eventually completed, what will it find?