Our job isn’t to report on politics and we try and stay as far from it as possible. But the Iowa Caucus is a big deal in the world of U.S. politics and when results from it are delayed because of buggy technology, well, we just have to report on that. The Iowa Caucus event is an important leg of the political journey for candidates and a win in Iowa brings a lot of muscle to a run for President.
Unfortunately, due to a buggy reporting app, the results of the Iowa Caucus are being delayed. Results being reported from the app can’t be trusted as many precincts reported not being able to use the app at all. Some workers were not even able to download or login to the app. It appears either the app was a colossal failure as a piece of software or the infrastructure behind it failed in some way.
A letter from the Biden campaign castigated the leaders of the Iowa Democratic party, saying that both the app and the backup system of calling in results over the phone failed. “These acute failures are occurring statewide,” the letter said. One county chair, Tom Courtney of Des Moines, told The Associated Press that the app was “a mess.” People were calling in their results instead, Courtney said.
The app in question is reportedly developed by a firm called Shadow, and paid for by Acronym, a Democratic nonprofit, according to The Huffington Post. Acronym is popular in Silicon Valley where it receives much of its funding, according to Recode’s Teddy Schleifer.The Verge
“We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results,” said Iowa Democratic communications director Mandy McClure. So the workers are attempting to report results via phone, photos and paper reporting. McClure also clarified that there was no hack or intrusion and the data collected by workers is “sound” and it will just take longer to get the Iowa Caucus results without an electronic way to collect them.
Technology has come a long way in a short period of time but there’s always some buggy thing that can happen. This Iowa Caucus incident is a good lesson in having some sort of redundancy built into your system. Perhaps a backup app might have been the answer? From what we can gather, the results will eventually be fully reported, just not as quickly as they had hoped.