Four of the eight precincts missing from the final Iowa Caucus night vote tally came from one county in southeast Iowa.
“Basically we’re making world news and stuff like this over four sheets of paper in Lee County,” Don Lucas, chairman of the Lee County GOP, said today during an interview with a radio station in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.
During another interview with a Burlington, Iowa, radio station, Lucas said he has no idea what happened with the forms from two of the precincts. In the other two, the people who acted as precinct captains on Caucus Night “refused to sign any paperwork.”
“I sent those forms in, not filled out,” Lucas said. “I supposed I should have filled them out.”
According to party rules, the forms were to be completed on Caucus Night, however. Lucas says it’s been a frustrating experience because he wrote down the vote tallies from those precincts that were telephoned in on Caucus Night and has a computer print-out to verify the numbers.
“The state (party) wants to push it on us like it’s neglect from the counties that their precincts, you know, had mistakes,” Lucas told KBUR Radio. “If the state (party) would work with us, I have the totals right in front of me. I do not have the E forms.”
A Form “E” from each of Iowa’s 1774 precincts was to be sent to Iowa Republican Party headquarters in Des Moines by the close of business this Wednesday and used to “certify” the results of the Caucuses. Lucas, a backer of Mitt Romney, is no fan of having Rick Santorum declared the winner of the Caucuses.
“Romney fairly and squarely won the state of Iowa by eight votes,” Lucas said. “But when they recounted all their papers and stuff like this and stuff like that, they’re saying now he lost by 34.”
Lucas suggested party officials at the state level should be more concerned about electing Republicans in Iowa and less concerned about the “hype” of choosing a president.
“What they’re doing is destroying the grassroots purpose of the Caucuses,” Lucas told KILJ Radio. “What basically the purpose of the Caucuses is to select leadership in the precincts and counties for the next two years, elect county delegates that work on the platform — on the statement of the party — and stuff like that.”
Another missing precinct was in Mason City and that county’s GOP chair told a local reporter he didn’t know anything about the missing form. The three other missing precincts are in the Hampton area, in Estherville and in Pocahontas County. The chairman of the Iowa GOP this afternoon said some of the local officials involved did not respond to telephone calls.
(Additional reporting in Burlington by Michael Cation of KBUR & in Mount Pleasant by Theresa Rose of KILJ)