An Iowa GOP caucus voter who helped count the votes at his small caucus meeting in Moulton, Iowa claims that former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) accidentally received 20 extra votes than he earned — a claim which, if true, would change the winner of the unusually close caucus to former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA):
Edward True, 28, of Moulton, said he helped count the votes and jotted the results down on a piece of paper to post to his Facebook page. He said when he checked to make sure the Republican Party of Iowa got the count right, he said he was shocked to find they hadn’t.
“When Mitt Romney won Iowa by eight votes and I’ve got a 20-vote discrepancy here, that right there says Rick Santorum won Iowa,” True said. “Not Mitt Romney.”
True said at his 53-person caucus at the Garrett Memorial Library, Romney received two votes. According to the Iowa Republican Party’s website, True’s precinct cast 22 votes for Romney.
Des Moines TV station KCCI 8 captured an image of Moulton’s handwritten vote count:
Minor counting errors such as this one are extremely common on election day, so it is perfectly plausible that Moulton is correct and Romney did receive 20 unearned votes. It is equally plausible, however, that these lost votes could be canceled out by a similar error at another caucus site. The tentative results, which showed Romney with the barest 8 vote lead, have not yet been certified.
Nevertheless, the Iowa GOP does not seem happy that True is questioning the early result. According to KCCI, a spokesperson for the Iowa GOP said that “True is not a precinct captain and he’s not a county chairperson so he has no business talking about election results.”
On Fox News’ On The Record tonight, Santorum said that he spoke with the head of the Iowa Republican Party, who told him that there was a separate counting error that incorrectly stripped 21 votes from Romney. Therefore, the two counting errors, according to Santorum, have largely offset themselves, although the final certification is yet to be completed.