The Westfield Voice

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The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

Iowa Caucus Met with Ballot Complications


At 8 p.m. Monday night, all across the state of Iowa, voters gathered at their caucus locations ready to select their candidate for the 2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination. Little did they know that an event they thought would last only a few hours would last almost two full days without conclusive results. 

According to CNN, county party chairs, Iowa Democratic Party officials and precinct captains stated that the nearly 1,700 precincts across the state were unable to get election results due to a new smartphone app intended to make it easier to report election results. As of 7 p.m. Wednesday night, only 86% of precincts had reported results. 

Officials stated they had trouble downloading, logging into or using the app, while the Iowa Democratic Party blames a “coding issue.” After the app’s malfunction, officials attempted to phone-in results to party leaders, but many said they were put on hold or disconnected. (Wall Street Journal) 

The app was made by a company called Shadow, Inc., which has since apologized for the incident. According to state records, the Iowa Democratic Party paid the company over $63,000 in November and December of 2019. (Wall Street Journal) 

Currently the results put Mayor Pete Buttigieg in first place with 26.7% of the vote, according to the New York Times. Senator Bernie Sanders is close behind with 25.4%. The New York Times also stated that it is “very likely” that Buttigieg will take Iowa. 

Tise situation in Iowa brings to light the influence that technology and cybersecurity may have on elections, as many states have moved to more electronic-based voting over the past few years. 

The next primary election will be in New Hampshire on Feb. 11.

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