Iowa: A Night of Disappointment and Train Wrecks

Iowa: A Night of Disappointment and Train Wrecks
  • Iowa holds the first electoral event of the presidential primaries.
  • Democratic turnout was lower than expected. 
  • Mayor Pete declared himself the winner of Iowa. 
  • President Trump beat his Iowa contenders.

( – To say the least, the Democratic Iowa Caucuses didn’t live up to anyone’s expectations.

Not only did the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) struggle to tally up the votes, it eventually had to resort to manually processing the votes. An app was used to record results in real-time, which seemed to work great for the first 1.5% of the total votes. After that, the app and caucus officials were left waiting on hold for up to an hour to troubleshoot the issue.

After hours of panic and deliberation, the Iowa Democrats reportedly told event organizers to take pictures of the counts and text them to a higher-up on the chain of command. Then, those individuals would physically drive to the headquarters to hand-deliver the votes to be counted. Iowa Democrats assure us that there is a long paper trail to validate the caucus results and that it’s only a matter of time before we learn who won.

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (D-VT) campaign came prepared with an app of their own as a backup. His campaign was only able to share 40% of the total votes, which showed him leading by a few points above Pete Buttigieg. Only Joe Biden (D-ME) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) had any real shot among the remaining candidates according to these preliminary results, though it’s impossible to make any official determination from the data.

To top this already hectic night, Pete Buttigieg’s campaign also released their own results by taking photos of the paper trail, though without any hard figures to work with. Buttigieg went on a tweetstorm and claimed victory during his closing speech for the night. He believes he’s victorious even though no official results were released, which created an uproar on social media.

There are some interesting revelations regarding the app used according to a Des Moines Register report.

Both Iowa parties worked with ex-campaign officials like Robby Mook of the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign and Matt Rhodes of the 2012 Mitt Romney campaign. Various cyber and national security experts were also involved with the project. The collaboration effort simulated what could have gone wrong with the Iowa caucuses and ultimately decided to use the app, which was developed by Shadow, Inc.

Additionally, Buttigieg and Biden have various funding connections to the developers of the app. Lee Fang from The Intercept tweeted about his investigation into Buttigieg’s connections.

Everyone will eventually know the results of the Iowa Caucuses, even if there are unforeseen delays.

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