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Sunday February 16th, 2020 1:50PM

The Latest: Iowa governor defends 1st-in-the-nation caucuses

By The Associated Press
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Latest on the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses (all times local):

1:55 p.m.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is defending the state's first-in-the-nation caucus status as Democrats struggle to get results released.

The Republican governor said Tuesday that the state must fight to remain first after a mobile app created to compile and report caucus results malfunctioned, delaying the count.

No results have been released yet. The Iowa Democratic Party says it will release a majority of the results later Tuesday.

Reynolds says that Iowa fights every year to stay first and that political leaders must demonstrate that adequate measures have been taken to ensure accurate results.

She says the parties worked together after the 2012 caucuses to maintain faith in the system after Republicans named Mitt Romney the winner, only to find out later that Rick Santorum had more votes.

___

1:30 p.m.

The campaign is back on.

As uncertainty reigns over the results of Iowa's caucuses, Joe Biden is in New Hampshire criticizing his 2020 rival Bernie Sanders over “Medicare for All.”

During his first campaign stop of the day in Nashua, Biden said the Vermont senator has talked about single-payer health care for "30 years now.”

"Hasn't moved it an inch," the former vice president said Tuesday.

Sanders remains popular in New Hampshire and has touted his signature health care policy idea frequently during his campaign trips in the state. Supporters often point to his consistency on issues as a reason they plan to vote for Sanders.

"It's not going anywhere now," Biden said of Medicare for All. "The speaker of the House isn't for it. Most Democrats in Congress are not for it. So how's it going to pass? How's it going to move? How does it get done? You can't give a speech about it. It actually has to get done."

New Hampshire is the second state in the nation to vote, holding its presidential primary on Feb. 11.

Democrats are still awaiting the results of Monday's Iowa caucuses, which were besieged by technical issues. The Iowa Democratic Party says it will release a majority of the results later Tuesday.

___

11:50 a.m.

The Nevada Democratic Party is trying to quell fears it will face a chaotic reporting system at its Feb. 22 caucuses. The party says it can “confidently say” that the problems Iowa Democrats experienced with reporting their caucus results Monday “will not happen in Nevada.”

Nevada Democratic party chair William McCurdy II said in a statement Tuesday morning that Nevada will not be employing the same app or vendor used in the Iowa caucus.

The party had previously announced plans to use an app to tabulate results at caucuses, as Iowa did, along with a second app that would be preloaded onto tablets available for voters to use at caucus sites during four days of early voting.

McCurdy said Nevada Democrats had already developed “a series of backups and redundant reporting systems and are currently evaluating the best path forward.”

The party did not respond to a follow-up message asking if the party had already planned to use a different app and vendor or if that was a change made in the wake of Iowa’s delayed results and technical problems.

___

11:35 a.m.

The Iowa Democratic Party says it plans to release at least 50% of results from Monday's caucuses on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m.

Party chairman Troy Price tells presidential campaigns on a conference call that “we are going to release the majority of results that we have by 4 p.m. today.”

Technical problems have delayed the release of results from the first-in-the-nation contest, leaving campaigns and the public in the dark.

Price says the party is collecting paper records from more than 1,600 caucus sites “to make sure we have all of the documented information in place.”

Price says results from about 50% of precincts should be released Tuesday. It was not clear when the final results would be available.

__

11:25 a.m.

New Hampshire's top elections official says the state has "kept it simple" when it comes to elections and that he doesn't expect New Hampshire to encounter problems in its Feb. 11 primary.

He says, "The more moving parts that you have in the election process, the more room there is for something to not function right."

Bill Gardner's remarks Tuesday came as the Iowa Democratic Party still hasn't released the results of its caucuses the night before.

New Hampshire runs a primary, not a caucus. People will vote via paper ballots that about 85 percent of towns will count electronically. Gardner says, "you can't hack a pencil."

Gardner says he's not worried about New Hampshire losing its status as the first primary state despite hand-wringing about the state's lack of diversity. He says the same conversation happens every four years.

___

8:45 a.m.

The Iowa Democratic Party says delays in reporting the outcome of Monday's caucuses were due to a coding issue that has been fixed. The party says it hopes to release results “as soon as possible.”

In a statement Tuesday, Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price says, “We have every indication that our systems were secure and there was not a cyber security intrusion.” Price says independent cybersecurity consultants tested the systems in preparation for the caucuses.

Candidates left Iowa Monday night for New Hampshire without the outcome of the contest being announced, a debacle that renewed criticism of Iowa's first-in-the-nation status and the caucus format.

Price says as results came in Monday night from more than 1,600 caucus sites the state party ran them through “an accuracy and quality check” and “it became clear there were inconsistencies with the reports.” Price says it took time to investigate the cause, which was later determined to be a coding issue in the app precinct leaders were using to report some data.

Price says state party staff used “pre-planned measures and entered data manually," which took longer than expected. He says the party has used required back-up paper documentation to verify data recorded in the app was accurate and to calculate delegate counts.

___

7:30 a.m.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has picked up the endorsement of Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy.

As the Democratic presidential hopefuls turn to New Hampshire, Kennedy called Biden the party's “best bet to win the White House, keep the gains we made in the House, and put the Senate in play.”

The former ambassador to Japan announced her decision to endorse Biden in an opinion article Tuesday in the Boston Globe.

The endorsement comes the day after Iowa's caucuses, which ran into technical problems that resulted in delays in results being released. Several Democratic candidates headed to New Hampshire, which holds its presidential primary next week.

___

7:20 a.m.

Pete Buttigieg is starting his day in New Hampshire visiting with a local mayor and drinking black coffee after an overnight flight from Iowa.

He told Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess, who endorsed him Tuesday morning, that the lack of timely Iowa results was "frustrating."

But he claimed on "CBS This Morning” that his performance in Iowa was “phenomenal,” especially given the fact that he had started his presidential campaign with little name recognition.

"They said we shouldn't even be here. And now, here we are, in the position that we are in, coming into New Hampshire for what we think will be another historic night a week from today," he said.

Buttigieg has back-to-back events planned around the state on Tuesday. His supporters, including Donchess, say the New Hampshire primary will matter even more after Iowa was slow to report results.

Activist Dan Weeks told Buttigieg an oft-repeated phrase in the state: “Iowa picks corn. New Hampshire picks presidents.”

___

3:50 a.m.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren says her Democratic presidential campaign is built to compete across the country.

Stepping off a charter flight from Iowa to New Hampshire before dawn Tuesday, Warren said, “Our organizers in Iowa are now leaving there and going to all the other places where we’re on the ground.“

She says her campaign is active in 31 states and involves 1,000 people nationwide.

Warren says, “This is an organization that is built for the long haul."

She didn’t answer a question about other candidates who declared victory in Monday night's Iowa caucuses. Technology problems and reporting “inconsistencies” had kept Iowa Democratic Party officials from releasing results.

She says Iowa “was too close to call and it still is.”

___

12:15 a.m.

The Iowa Democratic Party says it expects to release data from the Iowa caucuses later Tuesday.

Chairman Troy Price says the party is manually verifying its data against paper backups but says systems are taking “longer than expected.” He said the delays were the result of a reporting issue, not a hack or intrusion.

Price addressed reporters shortly after the party updated presidential campaigns about the status of the delayed results in the kickoff caucuses. He did not take any questions in the call with reporters.

Even without official results, some candidates have tried to declare victory and claim momentum based on their own internal data. The Associated Press has not called a winner of Monday's caucuses.

___

Catch up on the 2020 election campaign with AP experts on our weekly politics podcast, “Ground Game.”

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