Iowa GOP Mistakenly Awards Extra 20 Votes to Romney

Matt Cover | January 9, 2012 | 8:50am EST
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Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, campaigns at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(CNSNews.com) – The Iowa State Republican Party mistakenly awarded former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) 20 extra votes in Tuesday’s caucus elections – a contest Romney won by a mere eight votes over former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.). 

The discrepancy occurred in the Washington-Wells precinct of Iowa’s Appanoose County, the county’s Republican co-chair told CNSNews.com. Originally, Romney earned only two votes; however, the state party reported 22 votes for Romney

“There were two votes cast for Mitt Romney in the Washington-Wells township,” Appanoose County co-chair Richard Taylor told CNSNews.com. “The information – I gather – was then posted on some website [the state GOP’s official site] and it was posted that Washington-Wells cast 22 ballots for Mitt Romney, and that was inaccurate there were two.”

Taylor explained that he had counted the votes himself and had reported the correct number of votes up the chain of command.

“The tally was taken up from the results of everything – all of the ballots were collected in a large box,” Taylor said.

“The were opened up by myself and two other – one of them being Edward True, who seems to be in the limelight right now – the two of us counted, they were all tallied up.”

Taylor said that he then relayed the figures to the Appanoose County headquarters, where they were then relayed to the state headquarters in Des Moines.

“Those figures were then relayed on to Centerville, Iowa to the Appanoose County Chairman,” Taylor continued. “Of course he was in charge of several other precincts [so] whenever he got all of the other information together he reported that to the Iowa GOP.”

When contacted about this discrepancy, the Iowa GOP said in a statement that the error would not affect the outcome of the caucuses.

“Iowa GOP officials have been in contact with Appanoose County Republican officials tonight and do not have any reason to believe the final, certified results of Appanoose County will change the outcome of Tuesday's vote,” state Chairman Matt Strawn said in the statement.

Taylor agreed that the error would not change the outcome of the election.

“Once everything – all the hard copies – are tallied up I am quite confident that it will be very much the same as what was reported on TV,” Taylor said. “The outcome won’t be changing any.”

The discrepancy was originally reported by another precinct volunteer, Edward True, a supporter of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who alerted a local news station that the vote totals he had recorded and the totals reported by the state GOP were mismatched.

CNSNews.com spoke with True, who said that the mistake was most likely a typographical error on the part of the state party.

“We had two votes for Romney [and] the state reported 22. In all of my statements about it I’ve said, y’know, two and 22 that’s not a hard error to make, especially when they’re being typed in.”

True, in an affidavit published on the website of local TV station KCCI said that he counted 53 votes broken down into the following vote totals:

Bachmann – 3

Perry – 13

Paul – 7

Huntsman – 1

Santorum – 21

Romney – 2

Gingrich – 6

The Iowa state GOP reported a total of 79 votes in Washington-Wells precinct, giving Romney 22 votes and reporting six votes for former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer (R).

Taylor said that the state would revise its totals to correct the 20-vote error within the next two weeks when it finishes certifying the election results.

He explained that hard copies of vote totals had been sent to Des Moines from all over Iowa and that the state party would be correcting the vote totals once the election results were certified.
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