The Ticket

Did Mitt Romney really win the Iowa caucuses? Vote counter Edward L. True claims miscount

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Santorum (Elise Amendola/AP)

According to Edward L. True, Rick Santorum actually won the Iowa caucuses Tuesday night.

True took part in the caucus for his Washington Wells precinct in Appanoose County--and helped count the ballots afterward. He claims the state Republican party miscounted his precinct's totals.

True contends that the allegedly miscalculated Washington Wells total delivered 20 extra votes for Mitt Romney. And since Romney prevailed by a razor-thin eight-vote margin, the tally in Washington Wells alone would have been enough to deliver a victory to Rick Santorum on caucus night, according to True.

Unofficial totals indicate the former Massachusetts Gov. Romney received 30,015 votes in the state, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Santorum nabbed 30,007.

True filed an affidavit Thursday claiming the state party listed 22 votes for Romney. But True, who helped count the ballots, said he only listed 2 votes for Romney.

"To not bring forth such a serious discrepancy in public right away, seem[s] to me to [be] the same as silencing the people," True wrote in an affidavit. "This reminded me of a quote from the Father of our Country, George Washington: 'If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.'" True didn't immediately respond Friday to a request for comment from Yahoo News. (You can read the affidavit here.)

True--who according to his Facebook page and news reports is a Ron Paul supporter--claims that he notified both the person in charge of his precinct caucus and his county Republican chairman about the discrepancy and was assured it would be fixed when the results are certified. On his Facebook page he quotes an anonymous state party spokesman: "True is not a precinct captain and he's not a county chairperson, so he has no business talking about election results."

True's response via Facebook:

Dear Iowa GOP, I am a nominated delegate for my Precinct and the true winner from the vote count in my caucus was Santorum with 21 votes. I am not a person in a position controlled by you I am in a position to serve the interests of the people I was nominated by. The 1st Amendment of the Constitution gives me the right to speak up and make sure the numbers are correct and reported honestly.

State Party chairman Matt Strawn noted in a statement Thursday that there is a two-week process to certify the results. "Out of respect to the candidates involved, party officials will not respond to every rumor, innuendo or allegation during the two week process," Strawn said.

But before you think this means the state party is keeping open the possibility of a Santorum state win, Strawn's statement continued:

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.

Reports of vote discrepancies and vote changes are not uncommon in an election. The Gazette reports on Thursday they were notified of a discrepancy claim for Illyria and Westfield townships in Fayette County. A total of 1,774 precinct caucuses were held Tuesday night across the state of Iowa.

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