It would be safe to say that the 2020 Iowa Democratic Caucus did not go as planned. While many people awaited election results this past Tuesday evening, they were left waiting with a lot of questions.
The Iowa Democratic Party had committed to making their process fair, secure, and also more reliant on technology. On Tuesday, the process could be described as confusing and unfortunate. From an article on CNBC, “This failure was delivered by the same Iowa Democratic Party officials who have said for the last four years they were “ramping up” their technology capabilities, convening seemingly endless security task forces to ensure foreign powers did not disenfranchise voters, and collaborating with federal agencies like the Department of Homeland Security to make sure everyone was in the loop on voting security”
The Iowa Democratic Party partnered with the company Shadow, Inc. to implement an App to tabulate caucus results. This was not the first time that they have utilized an app to tabulate results; however, it appears to be the first time working with this specific company. In the 2016 election, it appears that Microsoft was the creator of the app that was used. We saw far fewer issues with the results in 2016, unless you talk to some Bernie Sanders supporters who question that process as well.
Many have been pointing the finger at Shadow, Inc. but I am not one of those people. With all the talks of election hacking and interference, why would an app be utilized to track election results? The Iowa Democratic Party could have avoided a lot of headache by simply relying on their backup plan of using paper documentation as a way to ensure the accuracy of results. Using an app might be a great idea to vote on Reality TV but it is not a sound method of tracking election results.
I am personally an advocate of paper ballots, Voter ID Laws, and not being overly reliant on technology to track these election results. It may take us longer to get results but those results will be far more reliable once they are released. The Iowa debacle should cause us to question whether or not simplicity is better than the trend of finding ways to utilize newer and faster technology.
Here is a look at the results from Tuesday (finally) with 97% of precincts reporting:
Pete Buttigieg (Yellow) 25.0% of the vote
Bernie Sanders (Green) 26.5% of the vote
Elizabeth Warren (Red) 20.4% of the vote
Joe Biden (Blue) 13.7% of the vote
Amy Klobuchar (Pink) 12.2% of the vote
Pete Buttigieg appears to be the big winner on the night, outpreforming his polling numbers. Bernie Sanders had a strong showig as well and appears to have won the popular vote. Joe Biden did not have a good night, falling short of the high expectations that were set with strong polling data.
I leave you with the following question, “Based on the controversy surrounding the results on Tuesday, will Buttigieg get a boost to his campaign that is traditional with a strong showing in Iowa?” We will find out in New Hampshire on Tuesday with what is expected to be a much simpler process and a muc more reliable result.