A technical issue in the Iowa Caucus has resulted in an optics nightmare for the Democrat Party.
Shortly after 6 p.m. on Monday evening, when votes were expected to be reported, no precincts were reporting their results. Several hours later, still nothing.
As Republicans already had more than 95 percent of their precincts reporting—and Trump winning 97 percent of the state against fellow Republican primary contenders Bill Weld and Joe Walsh—Democrats still had nothing.
And nothing, and nothing.
There was no Democratic winner, causing several presidential campaigns to voice their frustration and causing many others to speculate what was going on behind the scenes on social media.
New Iowa Democrat Chair Troy Price released a statement on Tuesday morning explaining the fiasco and what people can expect moving forward.
“Last night, more than 1,600 precinct caucuses gathered across the state of Iowa and at satellite caucuses around the world to demonstrate our shared values and goal of taking back the White House,” Price said. “The many volunteers running caucus sites, new voters registering as Democrats, and neighbors talking to each other about the future of our country demonstrated the strength of our party.”
Price ruled out that the voter application used to tally the results was hacked by an outside source.
“We have every indication that our systems were secure and there was not a cybersecurity intrusion. In preparation for the caucuses, our systems were tested by independent cybersecurity consultants,” he added.
“As precinct caucus results started coming in, the IDP ran them through an accuracy and quality check. It became clear that there were inconsistencies with the reports. The underlying cause of these inconsistencies was not immediately clear, and required investigation, which took time,” Price continued, noting the investigation went even longer than he expected.
He said, “As this investigation unfolded, IDP staff activated pre-planned backup measures and entered data manually. This took longer than expected.”
Price added: “As part of our investigation, we determined with certainty that the underlying data collected via the app was sound. While the app was recording data accurately, it was reporting out only partial data. We have determined that this was due to a coding issue in the reporting system. This issue was identified and fixed. The application’s reporting issue did not impact the ability of precinct chairs to report data accurately.”
“Because of the required paper documentation, we have been able to verify that the data recorded in the app and used to calculate State Delegate Equivalents is valid and accurate,” he concluded. “Precinct level results are still being reported to the IDP. While our plan is to release results as soon as possible today, our ultimate goal is to ensure that the integrity and accuracy of the process continues to be upheld.”
NEW statement from @iowademocrats — "While the app was recording data accurately, it was reporting out only partial data. We have determined that this was due to a coding issue in the reporting system." pic.twitter.com/kOXdcvggoe
— Maura Barrett (@MauraBarrettNBC) February 4, 2020
— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) February 4, 2020
KCCI 8 (a local CBS News station) reports results from the Iowa caucus will likely be revealed on Tuesday:
Technology problems and reporting “inconsistencies” kept Iowa Democratic Party officials from releasing results from Monday’s caucus, the much-hyped kickoff to the 2020 primary. It was an embarrassing twist after months of promoting the contest as a chance for Democrats to find some clarity in a jumbled field with no clear front-runner.
Instead, caucus day ended with no winner, no official results and many fresh questions about whether Iowa can retain its coveted “first” status.
State party officials said final results would be released later Tuesday and offered assurances that the problem was not a result of “a hack or an intrusion.” Officials were conducting quality checks and verifying results, prioritizing the integrity of the results, the party said in a statement.