Votes from America’s first-in-the-nation Iowa caucus have started coming in the day after technical problems held up results.
With 62 per cent of votes counted, former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg was narrowly leading in delegates ahead of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar. Mr Sanders was ahead in the popular vote.
Although Iowa is a small and largely agricultural state that is not necessarily representative of the United States as a whole, its status as the first to vote on presidential candidates gives it a political significance beyond its size.
However, the chaos overnight has led to questions over whether it will keep that status.
On Monday night the state's Democratic party spotted “inconsistencies” in the results, forcing them to grapple with apparent technical issues involving an app brought in to help streamline the process. Party leaders said a "coding issue" led to errors preventing some precincts from reporting their votes.
Following the tech glitches, Nevada's Democrat party leaders said they won't plan to use the app for its caucus on 22 February.
Iowa's Republican governor Kim Reynolds defended the state's first-in-the-nation status, pointing to the caucus system's ability to encourage "dialogue between candidates and voters that makes our presidential candidates accountable for the positions they take and the records they hold".
She said: "The process is not suffering because of a short delay in knowing the final results. Iowans and all Americans should know we have complete confidence that every last vote will be counted and every last voice will be heard."
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