Speed Reads

something's fishy

The Des Moines Register demands audit of Iowa's Democrat caucuses: It 'reeks of autocracy'

In an editorial published late Wednesday evening, The Des Moines Register skewered the Democratic caucuses in Iowa as being a "debacle." "We can take ribbing over our quirky process. But what we can't stomach is even the whiff of impropriety or error," the paper, which has endorsed Hillary Clinton, wrote. "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."

There have been questions raised about the Democratic Party's bias toward Clinton from the start; after all, Sanders has only recently identified himself as a Democrat. Nevertheless, the Sanders campaign hasn't formally demanded a recount of the caucuses, although they are reviewing the results on their own, precinct by precinct. A spokeswoman for the campaign said they have already found inconsistencies.

The Des Moines Register agrees there needs to be a complete re-evaluation of the process:

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.

Second, too many questions have been raised. Too many accounts have arisen of inconsistent counts, untrained and overwhelmed volunteers, confused voters, cramped precinct locations, a lack of voter registration forms and other problems. Too many of us, including members of the Register editorial board who were observing caucuses, saw opportunities for error amid Monday night's chaos. [The Des Moines Register]

Read the full editorial at The Des Moines Register.