January 19, 2012

Final Caucus Puts Santorum Over Romney

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Rick Santorum, Wiki Commons: Gage Skidmore

In a surprising turn of events two weeks after the Republican Party presidential caucus, party leaders Thursday reversed the final count of reported precinct votes, giving former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum the lead and pushing Mitt Romney to second place.

Iowans submitted 29,839 votes for Santorum and 29,805 votes for Romney, a 34-vote difference. After the unofficial count on Jan. 3, Romney had an eight-vote lead.

But the complete results of all votes will never be known, Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn said Thursday.

Each of the 1,774 precincts in Iowa was given two weeks to collect and finalize the voting results before submitting a Form E document. However, upon the Jan. 18 deadline, eight of those precincts had yet to submit the form. But the final tallying showed other signs of trouble. Upon the two-week recount standard, former Sen. Rick Santorum ended with 34 votes more than former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Even with a 34-vote lead, Iowa GOP officials can not determine an actual winner of the caucuses because the missing eight precincts may prove yet another outcome. This is the first time in caucus history that there has not been declared winner.

Republican Party Chairman, Matthew Strawn released a statement that said, “Our goal throughout the certification process was to most accurately reflect and report how Iowans voted the evening of January 3. We understand the importance to the candidates involved, but as Iowans, we understand the responsibility we have as temporary caretakers of the Iowa caucuses.”

The 2012 Iowa caucus had a turnout of 121,503 Republican voters, despite the missing eight precincts.

Photo credit (CC): Gage Skidmore

 

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