An Election Foul-Up

The Iowa Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate caucus, allegedly held last Monday, did not release any results until shortly after 1600 Tuesday–and then only partial results, only from 62% of the precincts into which Party has divided Iowa’s 99 counties. The caucus is a Party-run affair, not a State-run affair, so this failure is entirely that of the Progressive-Democratic Party.

But the failure is more than just the incompetence of Party IT folks, whether on Party’s payroll or contractor(s) hired by Party. The caucus results that were supposed to be collected by an app seem not to have been, and that app is the product of a company calling itself Shadow. The app has been a complete waste of money, for a host of reasons, including lack of training for the end users and—which I surmise from the empirical results—a decision to dispense with actual testing before going operational with the thing.

As I say, though, this extends far beyond IT incompetence.  Mandy McClure, Iowa Democratic Party Communications Director, had this:

The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results.

I have to ask: what’s different between this year’s “paper trail” and past years’ that prevents these guys from going manual and reporting off their current paper trail?

Adinn Mann, a caucus captain in Story County, had this:

We weren’t set up for everyone to have to use the phone, it sounds like.


Some folks are saying that this debacle is the result of an incompetently done election rigging effort targeting Bernie Sanders.

Joe Biden’s campaign management has written a letter to the IPD decrying Party’s decision to release only partial results and dribble out the rest, along with the poor performance generally, and demanding

an opportunity to respond [to IDP’s explanation], before any official results are released

which looks like a desire to massage the results before they’re released.

Others are wondering how Party can be expected to run a national health care system—or any other system more complex than a half-dozen folks sitting around a living room, if it can’t run a single-state caucus that it had run for decades prior.

The present performance—in just one State, yet—isn’t doing much to dispel such conspiracy theories.

It’ll be interesting to see what software, if any, the other caucus-only States (Nevada, Hawaii, Maine, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Washington, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Wyoming) use. Seven of these caucuses occur on Super Tuesday; that adds considerable…interest.

Update: Corrected what it was that Biden’s campaign was responding to with its letter.

Updated update: Iowa’s caucus result determination is still in progress. They’ve made it all the way to 71%, though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *