Tue. Nov 24th, 2020
  • The Iowa Caucuses were thrown into chaos on Tuesday night when the results were delayed following “inconsistencies” in voter data reported through a new mobile app. 
  • Democratic Party activists downloaded the new app to their personal phones and were planning to use the mobile app to transmit the voter data from the approximately 1,700 caucus sites to the state Party.
  • In a statement, the Iowa Democratic Party said it would take more time to verify the results and conduct “quality checks.”
  • This isn’t the first time the parties have used an app in Iowa. In 2016, both Republicans and Democrats used an app designed by Microsoft.
  • The Nevada Democratic Party will also use an app to report its primary election results later this month. 

The Iowa Caucuses were thrown into chaos on Tuesday night when results were delayed following “inconsistencies” in voter data reported through a new mobile app. 

Democratic Party activists downloaded the new app to their personal phones and were planning to use the mobile app to transmit the voter data from the approximately 1,700 caucus sites to the state Party. The Party hasn’t identified which vendor developed the app, as such a disclosure could make the technology more vulnerable to hacking. 

In a statement, the Iowa Democratic Party said it found “inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results” and would take more time to verify the results and conduct “quality checks.” Precinct chairs are calling the party hotline to report their results. 

“This is simply a reporting issue, the app did not go down and this is not a hack or an intrusion. The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results,” the statement read. 

It’s unclear whether the app malfunctioned. It was designed to streamline the complex caucus process by reducing phone calls and, instead, quickly transmitting data digitally. 

This isn’t the first time the parties have used an app in Iowa. In 2016, both Republicans and Democrats used an app designed by Microsoft. And the Nevada Democratic Party will also use an app to report its primary election results later this month. 

In a statement late Monday, the party said that 25% of precincts had reported their results. But as of 12:15 AM EST on Tuesday, no numbers had been released publicly.

The state party also defended the app against concerns that it could be vulnerable to hacking and other security breaches. 

Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price told the Wall Street Journal he was “confident in the security systems we have in place.” The app was tested and verified by the Department of Homeland Security, The New York Times reported. 

John Haltiwanger contributed to this story. 

 

By Author