Bernie Sanders Supporters Claim Iowa Delegates Were Switched to Hillary Clinton

Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) cheer as Sanders speaks at the Claremont Opera House on February 2, 2016 in Claremont, New Hampshire. The New Hampshire primary is February 9. (Photo by
Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images

The Des Moines Register reports on a confirmed instance of a Bernie Sanders delegate getting switched to Hillary Clinton by the Iowa Democratic Party, a move that was made without notifying the relevant precinct chairman.

On Sunday, the Register published more complaints about Sanders delegates suspiciously transformed into Clinton support, giving her just enough to claim a razor-thin “victory” in the Iowa caucuses.

One of these cases seems fairly cut-and-dried:

Keane Schwarz is certain he knows the outcome of the vote in his precinct: He was the lone caucusgoer in Woodbury County No. 43.

But the Iowa Democratic Party’s final results state that Hillary Clinton won one county delegate and Bernie Sanders received zero.

“I voted for Bernie,” Schwarz, 36, of Oto, told The Des Moines Register. “It was really suspicious … I’m actually pretty irate about it.”

The Register allows that some of the complaints it’s received from Iowa Democrats appear to be based on “confusion over how the math-heavy delegate-awarding system works in the Democrats’ caucus process”… but others appear to be valid.

Another apparently valid complaint reported by the paper came from a caucus in Knoxville that clearly recorded 5 delegates for Sanders and 4 for Clinton… only to find their local paper reporting that the state Democrat Party gave 5 delegates to Clinton and 4 to Sanders.  Even Clinton’s precinct captain agreed the total was wrong, ascribing the discrepancy to someone “transposing” the numbers.

The Register also describes some incorrect counts where the total number of votes in the caucus exceeded the number of registered voters, rounding errors that produced seemingly anomalous results, and the chaos caused by some voters leaving the caucus meeting before the elaborate voting process was complete.

The Register thought it was somewhat unlikely that the errors detected so far would be enough to swing that narrow victory back to Sanders, but noted that Sanders supporters in the state are increasingly restless as anecdotal evidence of irregularities piles up.

The paper repeated its call for a release of the raw vote totals to clear up some of the confusion, but at the time of this writing, the state Democrat Party continued to resist that call.  After correcting a number of the errors that have been reported, the state Party says that Clinton’s lead over Sanders shrank from 0.27 percent to 0.25 percent.