Feb 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Podcast: Iowa and the future of election tech

The Democratic Party's presidential caucuses in Iowa last night were a cascading debacle that touched on everything from poor tech training to overwhelmed phone lines to good old-fashioned human incompetence. Dan digs into what happened and what it means for the future of election tech with former White House tech policy adviser and New America fellow Hollie Russon Gilman.

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Trump camp weaponizes Iowa caucus chaos against Democrats

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

The Trump camp seized on Democrats' caucus meltdown in Iowa, using the lack of results and tech-driven chaos to sow uncertainty about the process in its aftermath.

Why it matters: The right is weaponizing the mess in an attempt to fire up its base and highlight Democrats' organizational failure, seizing on the botched caucus to argue that the left's top candidates can't be trusted to enact their promised sweeping structural reforms.

Nevada Democrats say their caucus won't use Iowa's app

Photo: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Nevada's Democrats say their Feb. 22 caucus will not use the same vote-tallying app that's being blamed for the unprecedented delay reporting Monday's Iowa caucus results. CNN previously reported Nevada would.

Our thought bubble: When software introductions fail as badly as Iowa's just did, engineers typically "roll back" their system to its last previously functioning state. For Nevada's Democrats, that's likely to mean turning back the clock to the way they did it four years ago.

Top Democrats react to "quality checks" at Iowa caucuses

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Democratic candidates had to improvise to keep supporters entertained Monday, as they took the stage to address the "quality checks" that delayed results in the Iowa Democratic caucuses past 11 pm local time.

What's happening: "Looks like it's going to be a long night, but I'm feeling good," said former Vice President Joe Biden when he took the stage in Des Moines. Speaking just before him, Sen. Amy Klobuchar urged supporters to "stay up. Let's stay in good spirits."