Des Moines, Iowa — Workers on Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign already had suspicions about the logistics and fairness of the Iowa caucuses. Counting delays by the Iowa Democratic Party are stirring those concerns anew.
While the political world waited late Monday to get results due more than an hour before, the Washington Examiner overheard several field organizers for the Vermont senator complaining that supporters of rival candidates were conspiring to block them from winning delegates.
One individual also complained about the campaign’s strategy of telling supporters to leave the caucus locations after the first round of voting, known as first alignment.
“I guess I shouldn’t have left after all,” one male organizer said to another woman.
“I don’t understand what was going on; all the other supporters seemed to be against us,” she responded.
Both individuals were wearing staff passes.
In the lead-up to the caucuses, the Sanders campaign were instructing voters to leave after the first round.
Supporters of Sanders began flocking in immediately after caucus locations closed, all with the same complaint: that precinct leaders and other campaigns were conspiring against their candidate.
One woman who spoke with the Washington Examiner on the condition of anonymity said the precinct captain at her location in Des Moines was biased against Sanders and allowed supporters of former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg to vandalize their signs.
“We put up our signs to show undecided caucusers and others during the realignment where to stand for Sanders, but then, supporters of Buttigieg rushed us and put stickers over the sign,” the woman said. “When it was our turn to give a speech, the Buttigieg supporters kept interrupting us, and the campaign didn’t do anything.”
Sanders backers also raised questions about the counting procedures of the Iowa caucuses that led to Clinton’s razor-thin win, 49.84% to 49.59%.
The Des Moines Register after that election called for a review of the caucus process.
“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,” the paper wrote. “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 statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.