“Our precinct went for Sanders. Oto’s precinct, the paper work was filled out showing they went for Sanders and yet somehow the Democratic party is reporting it for Clinton,” said Patrick West.
Is it time for a new approach for Iowa’s caucuses?
A group of first-time caucus volunteers in rural Woodbury County says there was more confusion than campaigning at their precinct Monday night.
“This system like I said is outdated we need to change it,” said Patrick West.
On Monday, Patrick West served as a captain in Woodbury County Precinct #40 held in Correctionville.
Like some others in Iowa, he’s questioning the way democratic caucus results are posted.
Keane Schwarz served as captain for that Oto precinct, precinct 43. He was the only voter to participate and aligned with Bernie Sanders, but the state party results show the precinct being won by Hillary Clinton.
“One person, I’m the only one on a sheet of paper very clearly filled out for this candidate with no opposition and it’s you become a Hillary delegate,” said Keane Schwartz.
Precincts 40 and 43 were 2 of 6 held at the River Valley High School. Schwartz, West and fellow precinct co-captain Stephen Eitzen all say caucus night was a night of disorganization.
“There wasn’t a lot of discussion. At the end there was, but during the process we were just sitting there. In hindsight I would have gone over and said what are you guys doing,” said Eitzen.
That “afterwards” Eitzen mentioned….. mass confusion concerning a potential 9-9 tie between Clinton and Sanders.
“We went in there it was just a basic cafeteria. Lots of tables no direction just have a seat wherever you want,” said West.
The men say the precinct’s lone O’Malley supporter offered to switch support to Clinton forcing a deadlock, but that person left the caucus prematurely.
“You can’t have votes that way it’s just not reasonable. I wanted her to have her opinion I wanted her to have her vote, but if she’s already left the building and we can’t confirm it, it can’t be counted,” said West.
“Never was there an announcement that some candidates were unviable and that there was a realignment period that they could realign to other groups,” said Eitzen.
In the end, the captains signed off on a 9-8 win for Sanders but the state Democratic tally shows Woodbury County precinct 40 awarded to Clinton by that total.
Monday marked all three men’s first caucus experience. They told us they want to see changes in the Iowa system but plan to participate again.
“There needs to be more people step forward and question and make those numbers more available,” said Schwarz. ” It fit when it was just a bunch of old men smoking cigars drinking whiskey and arguing all night. It doesn’t fit with modern lifestyles at,” said West.
Now we have been in touch with the Iowa Democratic Party about this matter. Originally, we were told to refer to the final results that were released.
Tonight, in an email, Sam Lau, Communications Director for the Iowa Democratic Party said:
“We have been made aware of these concerns, we are working to get to the bottom of these cases, and we are reaching out to all parties involved to clear up any confusion.”
To see the full list of results from the Iowa Democratic Party, see link below: