Iowa Democratic Party Says Results Delay Due To ‘Reporting Issue’; County Chairs Blame Malfunctions
BY JESSICA TAYLOR
The Iowa Democratic Party says the unusual delay in reporting caucus results Monday night is due to “inconsistencies” they found in a few results sets, not “a hack or intrusion.”
As officials examine the apparent problems with how results were submitted electronically, there remains no indication as to when final results will be released.
“We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results. In addition to the tech systems being used to tabulate results, we are also using photos of results and a paper trail to validate that all results match and ensure that we have confidence and accuracy in the numbers we report,” Iowa Democratic Party Communications Director Mandy McClure said in a statement.
“This is simply a reporting issue, the app did not go down and this is not a hack or an intrusion,” McClure continued. “The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results.”
But despite the denials from the IDP that anything was wrong with the app, multiple county chairs on Monday night told NPR that there were, in fact, malfunctions that delayed reporting.
The Iowa Democratic Party and Democratic presidential campaigns held a phone call that sources say became heated at times. Party officials offered no time estimate on when results will be reported.
But as several candidates went ahead and addressed their restless supporters, there was a mounting frustration among the candidates too.
Dana Remus, campaign general counsel to former Vice President Joe Biden, sent a letter to IDP Chairman Troy Price and IDP Executive Director demanding “full explanations and relevant information” after what the Biden campaign calls “failed” systems and “considerable flaws” by the IDP deployed for tonight’s caucuses.
“The app that was intended to relay Caucus results to the Party failed; the Party’s back-up telephonic reporting system likewise has failed. Now, we understand that Caucus Chairs are attempting to — and, in many cases, failing to — report results telephonically to the Party. These acute failures are occurring statewide,” Remus said.
NPR’s Miles Parks previously reported on concerns over the new use of a smartphone app for results reporting.
Despite the denials from the IDP that anything was wrong with the app, multiple county chairs on Monday night told NPR that there were, in fact, malfunctions that delayed reporting.
“The app didn’t work. Things didn’t work out right. I’ve been trying to call for several hours to report my results,” Des Moines County Democratic Party Co-Chairman Tom Courtney told NPR. “And I can’t I can’t get through the phone. It’s a phone number and I can’t get through. That number is constantly busy.”
Instead, Courtney said he’s now going home and will call and report his precinct’s results in the morning.
“[The Iowa Democratic Party] made it seem like this was going to work fine. They tested it, tested it,” Courtney said. “I’m old enough, I was skeptical, the whole thing, but I thought it would be better than it is. There’ve been problems. Little problems with it, right, all along. guess I wasn’t surprised.”
Kurt Meyer, the chairman of the Tri-County Democrats (three rural counties in northern Iowa), echoed Courtney’s frustrations.
“There has been a lot of concerns from the get go about the security of the system. Why? Well, because we know that there are plenty of interests that would just as soon thwart the accurate reporting of results. So as a result, security has been a major issue,” Meyer said. “And yet the security of the system becomes an issue in part because you have all these volunteers in 1,700 different precincts, a lot of the volunteers are not going to be technologically sophisticated.”
NPR’s Juana Summers contributed to this report.
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