The app that was meant to improve the efficiency of the Iowa caucus but instead contributed to Monday night’s chaos has links to veterans from Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Chaos in Iowa
The app was designed to allow the Iowa caucus to function at a higher level – rather than manually report in all the votes, those in charge of tallying them up could simply input the results into the app and have them sent straight to a central counting system. However, users reported the app crashing multiple times, with many people now unsure as to whether it actually did its job properly or not. Multiple Iowa Democratic county chairs reported delays of up to an hour on a phone line set up as a backup for them to report in the votes.
It turned out the app had never been tested at a state-wide scale, and was only cobbled together in two months. The New York Times reported that the Iowa Democratic Party (IDC) only decided to go with the app for the caucus after abandoning a plan to have the votes be reported in by phone, on the advice of the DNC themselves.
The IDP said there was no evidence of hacking through the app, but only delays.
“We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results,” Mandy McClure, the communications director for the IDP said in a statement. “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. This is simply a reporting issue, the app did not go down and this is not a hack or an intrusion. The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results.”
Tech Links to DNC
The app was created by a company called Shadow, which describes itself as creating “a permanent advantage for progressive campaigns and causes through technology.” Shadow was launched out of Groundbase, an SMS tool acquired by ACRONYM. Krista Davis, Shadow’s CTO, and Gerard Niemira, the CEO of Shadow, held senior positions during Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign in 2016. According to FEC records, Pete Buttigieg’s campaign also payed Shadow $40,000 last year for software.
Kyle Tharp, a spokesman for ACRONYM, defended the company in a statement, and distanced themselves from Shadow:
ACRONYM is a nonprofit organization and not a technology company. As such, we have not provided any technology to the Iowa Democratic Party, Presidential campaigns, or the Democratic National Committee. ACRONYM is an investor in several for-profit companies across the progressive media and technology sectors. One of those independent, for-profit companies is Shadow, Inc, which also has other private investors. We are reading confirmed reports of Shadow’s word with the Iowa Democratic Party on Twitter, and we, like everyone else, are eagerly awaiting more information from the Iowa Democratic Party with respect to what happened.
Tara McGowan, the CEO and founder of ACRONYM reposted the statement on Twitter, adding that they “don’t have any information beyond the public statements the IDP has put out + like all of you, eagerly await learning what happened and who won the IA caucus.”
Here are the facts about @anotheracronym’s relationship to @ShadowIncHQ, an independent company ACRONYM invested in. We don’t have any information beyond the public statements the IDP has put out + like all of you, eagerly await learning what happened and who won the IA caucus. https://t.co/sWohZqZkPe
— Tara McGowan (@taraemcg) February 4, 2020
Sanders Stitched Up Again?
This link with party establishment candidates has caused many supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders to cry foul online. From initial reports, it seems Sanders was out quite far ahead, with people like Buttigieg and Biden trailing far behind. Those on the progressive wing of the party are therefore very concerned that the app is being used by the DNC to once again stitch up the Senator from Vermont.
Well, how could you blame them? Only last week was it revealed that senior DNC members are conspiring to change convention rules in case Sanders comes close to securing the nomination. Let’s hope the chaos continues and the socialist left realize just how much the centrist liberals hate them!
The app that was meant to improve the efficiency of the Iowa caucus but instead contributed to Monday night’s chaos has links to veterans from Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Chaos in
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