'I hope cooler heads prevail:' Iowa officials react to caucus debacle

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (CBS 58) -- Results are still pending from the Iowa caucuses Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 4. The state's Democratic party is blaming a software issue for the delay. 

Here's what we know led to the severe delay in reporting results; the Iowa Democratic Party introduced a new process this year where three results would be reported with the idea of creating greater transparency. 

Those three were the first and second rounds of caucusing at each precinct, and then the delegate count for each candidate at each location. But, according to the party, there was a coding issue with the app -- which is also new -- that was meant to streamline reporting results to the party. 

The party said it noticed irregularities with the results that were coming in. The backup plan was for precincts to call in the results and that led to phone lines being jammed and overwhelmed. The backup was paper ballots which the party counted through the night. 

In a statement released Tuesday, the party addressed concerned of a hack, saying that it is confident it happened because of the coding issue and not a cybersecurity intrusion. 

"We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results. In addition to the tech systems being used to tabulate results, we are also using photos of results and a paper trail to validate that all results match and ensure that we have confidence and accuracy in the numbers we report. This is simply a reporting issue, the app did not go down and this is not a hack or an intrusion. The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results." 

CBS 58 was at a precinct in Des Moines Monday night, and spoke with the precinct captain about what happened. He said he's concerned about the backlash Iowa is receiving with talk of removing its first-in-the-nation status. 

"I think this will require a little bit of time and reflection, but the Iowa caucuses have been first in the nation since 1972, there have been ups and downs in these decades, but I think the system – as complicated as it is – is sound and has a lot of value not just to Iowa but to the nation," said Jeffrey Goetz, caucus chair. 

When the party briefed campaigns of the issue, candidates took the stage to deliver speeches with some indicating victory, despite the lack of results.

The focus now turns to the next contest in New Hampshire, set for Feb. 11.

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