The Iowa vote count mess

The late Robert A. Heinlein, a great SF writer, once said you should never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity.

Iowa, Democrats and Elite Incompetence by Yves Smith for Naked Capitalism.

Iowa Caucuses, the Blob and the Democratic Party Cartel by Matt Stoller.

Of course malice and stupidity are not mutually exclusive.

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3 Responses to “The Iowa vote count mess”

  1. Fred (Au Natural) Says:

    Not even really touched upon in the articles I read… Last time I checked, Pete leads in delegates but Sanders leads in the popular vote. How can this be?

    Forget the app. The Democratic caucus appears to be run by the equivalent of the electoral college.


    • philebersole Says:

      The Iowa caucus system is hard to understand. Here’s how it works.

      Residents of a particular precinct meet and cast their votes. If a particular candidate gets less than 15 percent of the vote, they can change their vote to one of the more successful candidates.

      The precinct then sends delegates to a county convention, selected based on a rounded-off percentage of the final vote.

      The county convention sends delegates to a state convention, based on a rounded-off percentage of the county convention vote.

      The state convention selects delegates to the national convention.

      The winners of the preliminary votes, the final votes and the delegate count all be different.

      The idea is to allow caucus-goers to feel free to vote for anyone they choose without having to worry about “wasting” their vote by not voting for one of the leading candidates.

      This is a well-intentioned but bad idea. Iowa should just have primary elections, as most states do.

      How the votes are allocated is a different issue from the selection of the company that set up failed system of counting the votes.

      If Iowa continues to have caucuses, they should allow the caucuses to phone in their results, and provide enough phone lines so that precinct leaders are not put on hold.

      If Iowa insists on using a computer ap to tally the votes, it should just task the Computer Science Department of the University of Iowa to make one.

      We won’t know which candidate got the most votes or the most delegates until all the votes are counted. By this, it probably will be too late to matter much.

      The Republicans also caucused. They used a system in which the candidate with the most votes got the most delegates. By all accounts, they didn’t have any problem counting the votes.


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