Several Iowa caucus votes ended in coin tosses when delegate counts were too close to call

Democrat caucus chair Steve King (C) flips a coin for Klobuchar supporter Sarah Casey (L) and Warren supporter Chris Brown (R) to determine who has to drop a delegate as they participate in a caucus at the Algona High School in Algona, Iowa

REUTERS/Eric Miller

Democrat caucus chair Steve King (C) flips a coin for Klobuchar supporter Sarah Casey (L) and Warren supporter Chris Brown (R) to determine who has to drop a delegate as they participate in a caucus at the Algona High School in Algona, Iowa.

  • Iowa caucus votes in several precincts were determined by coin flips on Monday night when candidate supporter counts were tied. 
  • The coin toss has been part of the Iowa Democratic Party's rule book for years, and in 2016 helped Hillary Clinton win six precinct votes.
  • It is used to determines how the delegates get divided up between candidates when two or more candidates have the same number of supporters. 
  • On Monday coin flips determined ties between Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, Biden and Klobuchar, and other candidate combinations.
  • The official results of Monday's Iowa caucus were delayed due to technical issues. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Caucus votes across Iowa on Monday night ended in coin tosses when results were too close to call.

The strategy isn't new - it has has been part of the Iowa Democratic Party's rule book for years, and in 2016, Hillary Clinton won six precinct votes in coin tosses.

The Des Moines Register explained in 2016 that coin tosses are still somewhat rare, and are used when precincts are ready to award delegates to candidates, but two or more candidates have the same number of supporters. The group who wins the coin toss determines how the delegates get divided up between candidates and whether or not groups need to disband.

Several people shared videos and stories to Twitter on Monday night showing votes coming down to coin tosses.

In a rural precinct in Iowa Falls that had 12 delegates to dole out, a close count between Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren warranted a coin flip when each received 19 supporters.

"There's talk that there's going to be a coin flip! Klobuchar and Warren both have 19 supporters, which equals 4 delegates and there's a limit to the number of total delegates," tweeted Iowa Falls Times Citizen editor Sara Baranowski, who was covering the caucuses.

The group for Klobuchar won the coin toss, and thus won the 4 delegates while Warren got three, USA Today reported. Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg also received three and former Vice President Joe Biden earned two.

Elsewhere, coin tosses were held between Biden and Bernie Sanders supporters, Biden and Klobuchar supporters, and other candidate combinations.

In one precinct, a three-way tie was apparently resolved when voters picked a name out of a hat. Biden won, according to one man.

The official results of the Iowa caucus were delayed on Monday night due to technical issues.

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