Chairman of Iowa Democratic Party Resigns After Caucus Fiasco

DES MOINES, IA - FEBRUARY 07: Troy Price Chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, addresses the media about the aftermath of the Iowa caucuses on February 7, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa. Price is calling for an independent investigation into what caused the delay of reports from precincts during the …
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Troy Price resigned as chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party on Wednesday.

Price’s resignation came nine days after the reporting fiasco that marred the February 2 Iowa Caucus.

In a remarkable demonstration of managerial incompetence, the Iowa Democratic Party was unable to report any results on Monday evening from the caucuses, thereby depriving the two candidates who finished at the top—Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D)—from obtaining the traditional “Iowa bounce” Monday evening as they then traveled to New Hampshire.

Partial results from the Iowa caucuses held at 1,765 locations were not released until 4 p.m. Central time the following day, and those results only comprised 62 percent of reporting precincts.

It was not until Friday of that week that 100 percent of results were reported.

The Des Moines Register reported:

In an interview Wednesday evening with the Des Moines Register, he said there was a lot for Iowa Democrats to be proud of, but that the failures on caucus night were “heartbreaking.”

“I believed that we were in a good spot,” he said when asked whether there were warning signs that should have been heeded. “(I believed that) we were prepared. And we had worked closely with our partners — not just us, but with the DNC and with our tech partners — to make sure we were in a good spot. And I felt that we were.”

Price said he will call for an emergency meeting of that committee for 1 p.m. Saturday to elect an interim chair.

You can read Price’s letter of resignation here.

Sources tell Breitbart News that Price was generally well regarded within the Iowa Democratic Party prior to the reporting fiasco, but that he was essentially a political operative unprepared for and unqualified to properly manage the rollout of the new technology designed to handle the additional reporting arising from recent reforms announced by the Democratic National Committee and the Iowa Democratic Party.

In previous Iowa caucuses, only the details surrounding the final count of state delegate equivalents were released.

The inner workings of that complicated process led to complaints after the 2016 results were announced on the night of the caucuses showing Hillary Clinton narrowly defeated Sanders by just two state delegate equivalents.

The Sanders campaign demanded that in the 2020 Iowa Democrat caucuses the results from the two steps in the process that preceded the calculation of the state delegate equivalents awarded also be reported at the caucus level—the popular vote from the “first alignment” of about 175,000 Democrat caucus attendees, as well as the popular vote from the “second alignment” of the 172,000 Democrat caucus attendees who stuck around after the “non-viable” candidates—those who received less than 15 percent support in any caucus—were eliminated.

A technology app purchased from a firm managed by former Democratic National Committee staffers was supposed to provide an easy way for the 1,765 participating caucuses to report their results on caucus night. That app was not properly tested prior to caucus night, and it failed to report any reliable results from a single precinct that evening.

Compounding the problem was that the backup manual reporting system—where the results were called in from each caucus—did not work well either, because, apparently, phone lines were overloaded.

Thanks to one of the changes brought about by the 2020 reporting reforms—the requirement that paper ballots be used to calculate the popular vote from the “first alignment” and “second alignment” results—the results were ultimately reviewable and auditable, but not in a timely manner.

The reporting debacle has lead to widespread calls to bring an end to the first-in-the-nation electoral contest status of the Iowa caucuses, which first gained prominence in the 1970s.

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