Jan 18, 2020

Democrats in Iowa, Nevada to use app for caucus results despite hacking fears

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Iowa and Nevada — two of the first three states to vote in the Democratic presidential race — plan to use new mobile apps to collect results from thousands of caucus sites, AP reports.

Why it matters: The technology is aimed at making it easier to count, but raises concerns of hacking or possible glitches.

How it works: Activists in both states will use programs downloaded to their personal mobile devices to report caucus results to state headquarters.

  • That data will be used to announce unofficial winners.
  • Paper records will then be used to certify the results.

Democrats are moving forward with the technology despite warnings that foreign hackers could target the 2020 race in an attempt to sow chaos and undermine American democracy.

  • Party officials explain they are cognizant of possible threats and taking security precautions. Errors, they say, will be easily correctable because of backups.

In both Iowa and Nevada, party officials declined to identify the vendor that developed their apps, saying they did not want to create a potential target for hackers.

Go deeper: In policy shift, FBI will now notify state officials about election hacking

Go deeper

Trump hits back at Mattis: "I gave him a new life"

President Trump speaks at the White House. Photo: Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump unloaded on his former defense secretary via Twitter on Wednesday, hours after James Mattis condemned him for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in his response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

What he's saying: "Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed it to 'Mad Dog'"

Obama praises young protesters, urges mayors to pursue police reforms

Former President Barack Obama called on all mayors to review their use-of-force policies and commit to policing reform in a virtual town hall Wednesday hosted by the Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keepers Alliance.

Why it matters: Obama has addressed the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed on social media and in a Medium post, but this was his first time speaking about the past week's events on camera. His voice will add weight to the growing pressure on local, state and federal officials to pursue policing reforms.

James Mattis condemns Trump as a threat to the Constitution

Mattis on Fox in Septemnber 2019 in New York City. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis condemned President Trump for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in a statement to The Atlantic on Wednesday, saying he was "appalled" at the president's response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Why it matters: Trump’s former defense secretary had refrained from publicly criticizing his former boss since resigning in 2018.