Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Inside Report on How Iowa Caucus Data is Counted

It's a very open process Matt Miller writes:

I saw Lew Rockwell’s recent Political Theatre post about Bernie Sanders demanding a raw vote count. I’m from Iowa (Cedar Rapids) and caucused for Rand last night. As you may have heard, Microsoft had a software development partner named interknowlogy develop the app to report precinct results for both the GOP and Democratic parties and the results are shown on the web.

Republican Iowa Caucus 2016 Results

Democratic Iowa Caucus 2016 Results

Interestingly, the GOP site has percentage as well as number of votes, all the way down to the precinct level.  My experience in our local GOP caucus (Linn County, CR24), the precinct captains for campaigns are generally instructed to participate in vote tallying. It’s a very open process – first divide the ballots into candidate piles, then at least two people count each pile and confirm the count. Then it’s written down for all to verify and see before it’s brought out to the main caucus room and submitted via the app. The Paul campaign then asks their precinct captains to forward vote tallies to them for confirmation. I can view the Linn County results and confirm at least the top 5 for percentage and vote count. Very open.

The Democratic party site only displays percentages. Interestingly, while the general state and county level seems to display percentage which likely means percentage of voters, hovering over any given precinct you’ll find only reporting of delegates awarded as a percentage. Weird. It’s 50/50, 60/40, 66/33, 75/25, correlating to 1:1, 3:2, 2:1, 3:1 splits of delegates. The information on the Democratic site was likely chosen by the party, and I bet influenced by the establishment campaigns.

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