Nevada ditches plans to use app blamed for Iowa caucus chaos

'Coding issue' prevents app from reporting votes, causing significant delay in release

Alex Woodward
New York
Tuesday 04 February 2020 19:42 GMT
Picture: (Charlie Neibergall/AP)

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Nevada Democrats will not use the app that's caused massive headaches at the Iowa caucus after that state's chaotic vote collection.

In a statement, Nevada Democratic Party chair William McCurdy II said the party "can confidently say that what happened in the Iowa caucus last night will not happen in Nevada" on 22 February.

"We will not be employing the same app or vendor used in the Iowa caucus," he said. "We had already developed a series of backups and redundant reporting systems, and are currently evaluating the best path forward," he added."

The app, developed by former campaign staffers with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, was commissioned by the Democratic National Convention late last year.

In a since-deleted post on the website of nonprofit organisation Acronym, CEO Gerard Niemira announced "the launch of Shadow, a new technology company that will exist under the Acronym umbrella and build accessible technological infrastructure and tools to enable campaigns to better harness, integrate and manage data across the platforms and technologies they all use".

Shadow originated as an app called GroundGame, then Groundbase, in 2017, before it was rebranded as its current iteration.

Acronym has since distanced itself from the software following the caucus, saying in a statement that Acronym was only an investor that did "not provide any technology" for the caucuses.

On MSNBC, as the app's misfires were announced, host Chris Hayes asked former Obama campaign manager and Acronym board member David Plouffe whether Acronym had campaign ties to Shadow, though he said he has "no knowledge" of the app.

Local Democratic parties in each state paid $60,000 to Shadow for their services, according to Federal Election Commission disclosures.

The Iowa Democratic Party says a "coding issue" resulted in only partial data reporting from some precincts, forcing officials to manually enter the votes.

"While the app was recording data accurately, it was reporting out only partial data", said Iowa party chair Troy Price said in a statement. "We have determined that this was due to a coding issue in the reporting system. This issue was identified and fixed."

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