Tech problems with mobile app causes Iowa caucus chaos

Yolanda Curtis
February 4, 2020

According to the Department of Homeland Security, help was offered to the DNC and the Iowa Democrat party ahead of the caucuses to make sure the new technology was implemented smoothly.

But former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro gave renewed, prominent voice to the sentiment even as he was running for president in Iowa a year ago, saying the contest "does not reflect demographically either the United States or, certainly not, the Democratic Party".

"It looks like it's going to be a long night, but we're feeling good", former Vice President Joe Biden said, suggesting the final results would "be close".

In a vote scheduled for Wednesday, Trump is nearly certain to be acquitted by the Republican-led upper house on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

In the case of Iowa, those supporting a particular candidate must spend an hour or more standing up, in both a metaphorical and literal sense, for the one they are backing.

The caucuses are also a moment to appoint delegates to county conventions and party committees, among other party activities.

Senator Bernie Sanders' campaign released its own internal data collected by volunteers at 40 percent of the state's precincts. "This is simply a reporting issue, the app did not go down and this is not a hack or an intrusion".

Party officials held a call with campaigns as concerns were growing over the delays.

Even if one candidate wins by a commanding margin in Iowa, Democrats may still lack clear answers as the race moves on to the other three early-voting states of New Hampshire, Nevada and SC later in February. Defeat in Iowa, particularly a heavy one, usually spells the end of a campaign before other states even hold their primaries. The final candidate will be chosen later this year to run against presumed Republican candidate President Donald Trump.

The caucuses were already facing plenty of headwinds amid criticism that the overwhelmingly white state isn't representative of the country's diversity. The death of that prospect bodes poorly for him in New Hampshire, where his campaign has invested less time and resources than it did in Iowa over the last month.

As voting moves into New Hampshire, a wild card is the Granite State's more open primary rules: It allows participation by not just registered Democrats but also undeclared voters, who make up about 40% of the electorate. Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted Monday evening, adding a emoji with furrowed brows.

The delay in the Iowa caucus results has caused a strong backlash among American voters and spurred a number of jokes, with Trump's campaign team dubbing the delay "the sloppiest train wreck in history".

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), who is as sick of the Iowa caucus as anybody else who doesn't live in the Hawkeye State, has little sympathy for the naysayers.

"I think he really inspires a lot of young people, a lot of disaffected voters who might not otherwise turn out", Elzinga, 28, told AFP news agency shortly before the caucusing began.

"The only person that can claim a very big victory in Iowa last night is 'Trump, '" the president added.

Green, who chaired a Democratic precinct Monday, said "I personally have advocated for moving to a primary, but, my God, this is not the way I want to get to a primary".

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