In the wake of its screw up of the Republican presidential caucuses, the Iowa Republican Party Monday named a special committee to review the way it counts the votes.
The 17-member panel, which will include the deputy director of elections from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office, is an effort to clean up the mess from the Jan. 3 caucuses.
The party first reported that Mitt Romney won the caucuses, edging out Rick Santorum. Party officials at first denied reports that some counties did not count votes adequately.
Later, however, they said that some ballots would never be counted, and conceded that a closer count found that Santorum actually won. The party chairman resigned.
From the party’s statement Monday:
The Republican Party of Iowa (RPI) State Central Committee today approved the formation of a 17-member Iowa Caucus Review Committee and confirmed Chairman A. J. Spiker’s nominees to the committee.
The committee will be chaired by RPI Co-Chair Bill Schickel. Iowa Secretary of State Deputy of Elections Mary Mosiman will serve as committee co-chair.
“My challenge to the committee is to bring back recommendations that will build upon the most open and transparent presidential preference process in the country,” Spiker said.
“The purpose of the committee is to conduct a full audit and review of the Republican Caucus,” said Schickel. “We’re going to review what went right and what went wrong. We will fix what went wrong and promote what went right.”
The committee will hold its first meeting at 10 A.M. Thursday, April 26 in Des Moines. Future meetings will be held in other communities across the state.
Committee members will be assigned to sub-committees on public relations, operations and training. A research subcommittee will gather data and background information for the committee.
The committee and each of the sub-committees will be asking for ideas and suggestions from experts and ordinary citizens alike throughout the state and nation, Schickel said.
“Although this will be a review of the Republican caucuses, we will be acting in consultation with our colleagues in the Democrat Party,” Schickel said. “Having open, honest and transparent caucuses is in the interest of all Iowans.”