U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden says he tried to warn Democratic Party officials that an elections app — which delayed results of the first presidential contest in the country — would fail.
Voters in Iowa weighed in on the presidential race on Monday, Feb. 3, with Democratic Party caucuses. Results were expected that evening. A failure of new technology recording caucus results led to significant delays.
On Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 4, Iowa Democratic leaders told reporters that official results would be released later in the day. News outlets posted stories showing Sen. Bernie Sanders and Mayor Pete Buttigieg led the field.
The failure of the technology has angered candidates, who have demanded answers and cited their displeasure at the delay. The winner of the caucuses in Iowa — the first in the nation to vote in the presidential primaries — has traditionally fared well in the presidential race and has used the energy generated from Iowa to carry them to victories in other states.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Democratic Party officials in Iowa had hoped to use a new mobile app and a phone-in system to report results from the more than 1,700 caucus locations across that state, but the technology malfunctioned on election night. Officials at many caucus sites said they had difficulties downloading and using the application and phone lines were clogged for hours as local caucus leaders attempted to call in their results when the app failed
In a statement to Twitter on Tuesday, Wyden said his warnings were ignored. "The result is chaos and a loss of confidence in our election," Wyden said. "Unless states step back from using unproven technologies in our elections this will keep happening."
According to The Wall Street Journal, the app hadn't been security tested or vetted, and reported that Wyden had asked the Democratic National Committee three times for details about the app in the lead up to the caucuses.
Before Monday night's faulty start, the manufacturer of the app was a closely guarded secret, which Democratic Party officials said was necessary to keep the app secure from hackers. An aide to Wyden told the Wall Street Journal that he received no reply from any of his attempts to get information about the app.
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