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Romney or Santorum? True Winner of Iowa Caucus May Remain a Mystery

The 2012 Iowa Caucus winner may never be known.

With the race for the GOP nomination for president full on in South Carolina with its primary on Saturday, the winner of the Iowa Caucus remains in doubt and may stay that way forever.

Officials with the Republican Party of Iowa are in the final stages of certifying the Iowa Caucus vote. GOP Chairman Matt Strawn by eight votes over Rick Santorum in the early hours of Jan. 4.

Counties have two weeks from the Iowa Caucus to certify their results. Strawn told the Des Moines Register the final paperwork is due by 5 p.m. Wednesday. The Iowa GOP may be able to announce the results of the certification process by Friday, Strawn told the Des Moines Register.

However with most of the paperwork already in, Iowa GOP executive director Chad Olson told the Register they are already noticing some missing information and a few errors, with some favoring Romney and others Santorum.

Strawn said Iowa GOP rules don’t include any procedures for a recount. Instead, each county must get its verified vote count — on a “Form E” document signed by the precinct chair and secretary — to party headquarters within two weeks. The deadline in this case is 5 p.m. Wednesday, he said.

Party officials will keep working the rest of this week to certify the results, which is essentially updating the results tabulated on caucus night in cases where the Form E numbers are different.

While the resolution of the 2012 Iowa Caucus may end in frustration for people who like closure, there is little real consequence if a cloud of uncertainty hangs over first and second place. 

A man who helped count the caucus results in Appanoose County earlier this month said a 20 vote discrepency existed between what they counted and the Iowa GOP tally. The difference would make the former Pennsylvania senator Santorum the winner, he said.

For practical purposes, the former have tied in the Iowa Caucus and a few votes either way doesn't change that. The results of the canvass won't undo Santorum's surge coming out of Iowa or Romney solidifying his position as the front runner.

"It's a virtual tie, let's face it," Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican, said on Monday. "(Romney) could still be the winner in the certified count, because it's eight votes, so you just don't know."

Pat Wollam January 18, 2012 at 05:41 AM
when will the vote be certified?
John Doe January 18, 2012 at 06:01 AM
"the 2012 Iowa Caucus may end in frustration for people who like closure" Oh yeah, just those people. This is offensive to democracy. Ron Paul 2012.
William January 19, 2012 at 03:05 PM
It doesn't surprise me at all. The caucus in Ankeny was poorly run. Could not hear anything because the speakers were not working and then the organizers just handed out stacks of ballots with no oversight. People could take as many ballots as they wanted. It should have been better watched and monitored. More professionalism is needed when picking our presidential candidate.

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