February 4, 2016 /

Des Moines Register Wants Audits Of Monday's Democratic Caucus

After endorsing Hillary Clinton for President less than two weeks ago, the largest paper in the state is saying something "smells"

Des Moines Register Wants Audits Of Monday's Democratic Caucus

Late last night the Des Moines Register’s editorial board put out a call for the Iowa State Democratic Party to audit Monday night’s caucus:

What happened Monday night at the Democratic caucuses was a debacle, period. Democracy, particularly at the local party level, can be slow, messy and obscure. But the refusal to undergo scrutiny or allow for an appeal reeks of autocracy.

The Iowa Democratic Party must act quickly to assure the accuracy of the caucus results, beyond a shadow of a doubt.

First of all, the results were too close not to do a complete audit of results. Two-tenths of 1 percent separated Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. A caucus should not be confused with an election, but it’s worth noting that much larger margins trigger automatic recounts in other states.

That last part is key. In normal elections, when results are this close a long process of validation comes into play. But in Iowa, well here’s what the editorial says:

Dr. Andy McGuire, chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party, dug in her heels and said no. She said the three campaigns had representatives in a room in the hours after the caucuses and went over the discrepancies.

McGuire knows what’s at stake. Her actions only confirm the suspicions, wild as they might be, of Sanders supporters. Their candidate, after all, is opposed by the party establishment — and wasn’t even a Democrat a few months ago.

First, let’s totally squash one wild conspiracy to come out of this. The Des Moines Register is not in the bag for Bernie. A week prior to the caucuses, the paper came out with a glowing endorsement of Hillary Clinton, saying she has the “knowledge we need”. 

The big problem is in that last part quoted above. This should in no way be about Hillary versus Bernie or the primary in general. What this is about is faith in the system. We’re getting more and more young people involved in the system this cycle. That is a HUGE benefit for Democrats, regardless of who you want for President. But these new, young, energetic voters that went to caucus Monday night are going to start mimicking something common in years past; “why vote when the system is rigged?” 

2015 and 2014 were horrible years for Democrats. I would say we got our asses handed to us, but that is rather nice. The fact of the matter is we had the lowest turnout in close to a century. The ones out there just aren’t voting. We need new, young, energetic voters, and the way NOT to encourage them is by leaving them with a feeling that the system is rigged.

Again, this isn’t about Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton or the primary at all. This is about attracting young voters and giving them a reason to vote. The first step there involved trust in the system. Hopefully Iowa Dems will realize that and do the right thing. If not, then hopefully the DNC will force it through a threat of delegate loss. 


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