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Mobile app errors could delay Iowa caucus results

Mobile app errors could delay Iowa caucus results


It’s not the first app, but it’s a new one

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Iowa Prepares To Host First In The Nation Caucuses For The 2020 Presidential Election
Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Monday’s Iowa caucus results could be delayed after precinct chairs reported trouble accessing a new mobile app used for reporting their final results, according to Bloomberg.

There are nearly 1,700 caucus sites, and the chairs of each precinct are able to use a brand new mobile app this year to record the night’s final results. But caucus leaders said Monday they were struggling to download and sign in to the new app only hours ahead of the event.

The final results could be “delayed by a few hours,” Bloomberg reported, but shouldn’t affect the outcome of the caucus or the reporting of results. At the end of the event, some caucus volunteers who opted to use the app could be forced to read their results over the phone to state party leaders which is a more time-consuming process.

The results could be delayed by a few hours

The Iowa Democratic Party reiterated to Bloomberg that any issues with the new app shouldn’t affect the outcome of the caucus or the reporting of results. 

Iowa caucus leaders have relied on mobile apps to record results before. But the app causing problems is new and completely optional, according to a statement from Mandy McClure, the spokeswoman for the Iowa Democratic party. It tabulates results throughout each phase of the caucus ensuring more accurate reporting from volunteers.

The New York Times reported that the app had been “tested and verified” by the Department of Homeland Security and cybersecurity experts before it launched this year. “We knew that technology gave us some opportunities in this process, but with those opportunities came different challenges,” said Troy Price, the chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, told the New York Times late last month.

The 2020 Iowa caucus is also the first time caucus-goers will be provided “paper ballots” or cards for recording their preferred candidate. The cards will be handed in at the end of the night, according to Recode.