Feb 6, 2020 - Technology

Report: Pro-Trumpers tried to jam Iowa results line

Biden supporters caucus in a Des Moines, Iowa, gym. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Posters on 4chan, the anonymous message board famous as a gathering spot for trolls, shared the phone number of Iowa's Democratic caucus results line Monday evening and encouraged readers to "clog the lines," NBC News reports.

Why it matters: Technical problems with a results-tallying app led many Iowa precincts to try to report numbers by phone. The lines were already overloaded, but it now appears that malicious mischief might also have played a role.

One Democratic party official who helped man the phone line told colleagues he had received multiple calls to the line from Trump supporters who expressed "displeasure," Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

Go deeper: After Iowa, thinking smarter about election security

Go deeper

Iowa's hanging chads

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The stakes aren't quite the same, but the Iowa Caucuses are increasingly looking like Florida 2000.

Why it matters: Apps are the new hanging chads, and good luck convincing people to vote with apps after what they saw play out this week.

Finger pointing continues over Iowa app fiasco

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It's been two days since app problems delayed returns and cast a stain on the Iowa caucus, but the blame game continues.

Why it matters: So far, two things seem pretty clear. It's not a good idea to rely on an app as the primary means of tabulating election results, and the app used in Iowa was also pretty bad.

After Iowa, thinking smarter about election security

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The big lesson from Iowa: Security is only a starting point in protecting elections. Usability, reliability and redundancy are just as important.

Why it matters: As long as election officials neglect software fundamentals and view security only as a matter of locking hackers out, we will keep facing trust-eroding system meltdowns like this week's Iowa caucus fiasco.