Drama over Iowa caucus: Bernie Sanders urges DNC to release raw votes after tight finish

A video shown on C-Span has raised suspicions that the tally was botched in one of Iowa's precincts

Published February 2, 2016 8:45PM (EST)

Bernie Sanders (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File) (AP)
Bernie Sanders (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File) (AP)

Hillary Clinton won the Iowa caucus by a razor-thin margin, according to final results released on Tuesday. But now some Bernie Sanders supporters are questioning whether Clinton did, in fact, win the tightest victory in Iowa Caucus history, or whether the final margin was an error or some sleight of hand.

video, which first surfaced on C-SPAN, raised suspicions of voter fraud after it showed caucus chair Drew Gentsch and precinct captain Liz Buck disagreeing over the total number of Clinton supporters in the second vote at precinct 43 in Des Moines. Also captured in the video, were Sanders supporters begging for a recount.

The Sanders campaign has not issued a statement on the video, however, according to The Guardian, the 74-year-old Vermont senator called for the Democratic Party to release a raw vote count, after the tighter-than-expected results.

He noted that certain precincts didn't have enough Democratic party volunteers to report delegate totals for each candidate, which could have left room for error.

“I honestly don’t know what happened. I know there are some precincts that have still not reported. I can only hope and expect that the count will be honest,” Sanders told the Guardian. “I have no idea. Did we win the popular vote? I don’t know, but as much information as possible should be made available.”

The Clinton campaign has not commented on the video.

Clinton was awarded 699.57 state delegate equivalents in Iowa, while Sanders squared tightly at 695.49.

The breakdown for the first vote in precinct 43 was: 215 for Sanders, 210 for Clinton and 26 for O'Malley, with 8 Undecided, totalling 459.

The misunderstanding comes in the second vote, when the numbers jump to 232 for Clinton and 224 for Sanders, but the total for the two decreases by three to 456.

According to reports, in the time between the two votes, three ballots were lost, yet Clinton's vote increased by 14.

Gentsch, the Des Moines chairman seen in the video, said the count from the precinct would not make a difference in the state delegate results and did not issue a recount.

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By Antoaneta Roussi

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