At just before 2 a.m. on Wednesday, Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn addressed reporters who had spent the night following the historically close Republican caucus race between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. The margin separating the candidates was small — eight votes — but he was prepared to declare a victor. “Congratulations to Governor Mitt Romney, the winner of the 2012 Iowa caucuses,” Mr. Strawn said.
Mr. Romney’s victory is unofficial — the counties have up to two weeks from the caucuses to send their final certified results to the state party. However, there is no provision for a recount in the caucuses, and the campaign which might have the most interest in pursuing one — Mr. Santorum’s — is making no effort to challenge the results. Still, given Mr. Romney’s exceptionally small margin of victory, a single discrepancy could potentially reverse the outcome. On Wednesday, a voter in the town of Moulton in Appanoose County, Iowa claimed to have found one.
The voter, Edward True, signed an affidavit which stated that he had helped to count the vote after the caucus at the Garrett Memorial Library in Moulton. Mr. True claims that the results listed on the Google spreadsheet maintained by the Iowa Republican Party differed substantially from the count that had been taken at the caucus site. Mr. Romney had received only two votes in his precinct, Mr. True’s affidavit said, but had been given credit for 22 by the state. That would be enough to flip Mr. Romney’s eight-vote victory into a 12-vote win for Mr. Santorum.
Mr. Strawn issued a statement late on Thursday night on behalf of the Iowa G.O.P., which said that the party would not respond in detail to reports of irregularities, but that it had no reason to believe that Mr. True’s allegation would change the outcome.
One reason for Mr. Strawn’s confidence may be that there is a verification process set up during the caucuses. Each candidate has the option of assigning a representative to each precinct who must sign off on the results before they are reported to the state.
Full Article: Iowan Casts Doubt on Winner of Caucus – NYTimes.com.