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What to know about the Iowa caucus results delay

DES MOINES – More than 2,500 campaign stops. A field that at times topped 20 candidates. And more than 1,600 Iowa Democratic caucus precincts, primed to kick off the 2020 primary season.

And it only took roughly 3 hours for it to start crumbling.

The results of the Iowa Democratic caucuses were delayed Monday night, with the state party citing reporting issues and a verification process that involved three times the results as previous caucuses. It wasn’t the first time the Iowa caucuses have produced late results, but Monday night’s issues come after months of heightened criticism of the caucus process and calls for Iowa to lose its vaunted first-in-the-nation status.

Here’s what we know and what could happen next:

Why were the results delayed?

The Iowa Democratic Party released a statement shortly before 10:30 p.m. Monday night saying there were “inconsistencies” in the results being reported from precincts and the party was to conducting unspecified “quality checks.”

Mandy McClure, communications director for the state party, said in a statement that the delay also was the result of the party reporting three sets of data for the first time. The party changed the caucus rules this year, and was going to release three sets of data: raw votes from the first alignment, final alignment, and the usual state delegate equivalents.