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The Iowa Caucus Tech Meltdown Is a Warning

Iowa Democratic Party
the Iowa Democratic Party
the Department of Homeland Security
the Brennan Center's Democracy Program
New York University School of Law
Condé Nast
My Personal Information Wired
Affiliate Partnerships

Lily Hay Newman
Troy Price
voting."Marian Schneider
Verified VotingAll
Lawrence Norden
Ben Adida
VotingWorks’ Adida


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The New York Times
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The telephone hotline intended as a fail-safe was overwhelmed by calls from caucus leaders trying to report results and troubleshoot the app. "As the Iowa Democratic Party has confirmed, the underlying data and collection process via Shadow’s mobile caucus app was sound and accurate, but our process to transmit that caucus results data generated via the app to the IDP was not. Shadow is an independent, for-profit technology company that contracted with the Iowa Democratic Party to build a caucus reporting mobile app.""People have to think carefully about what the impact is going to be when introducing tech into voting."Marian Schneider, Verified VotingAll software has bugs, but a flaw in the core functionality—reporting data—is a major failure. This year, after confusion marred reporting in 2016 and 2008, caucus precinct leaders needed to relay more data than ever to Iowa Democratic officials, who tabulate the results. Every caucus vote was recorded on paper, meaning that officials will be able to verify that their final digital tallies line up with the actual results.“In this case in Iowa I don’t think anyone will need to doubt what the results are,” says Marian Schneider, president of Verified Voting, a group that promotes election system best practices. People have to think carefully about what the impact is going to be when introducing tech into voting.”Monday night’s debacle underscores the stakes of debuting new technology in elections and the inherent risks of layering more tech into systems to solve problems rather than looking for their root cause.“Technology can help, but it usually comes with added risks,” says Ben Adida, executive director VotingWorks, a nonprofit maker of voting machines.

As said here by Wired