Iowa primaries – This is how chaos ensued among the Democrats

Chaos instead of awakening: The Democrats have stumbled into the primaries. In Iowa, a new app for reporting results probably failed. The Party had kept her a great secret.

The applicants are angry, the mockery is huge: In the state of Iowa, the US Democrats wanted to start the competition for the US presidential candidacy with a big spectacle. But even hours later it is still not clear who actually won. The party was unable to publish results on Monday evening.

The cause of the glitch is apparently a programming error. As the Democrats announced on Tuesday, previous studies had shown that there were no problems entering the data from the individual districts via an app. However, difficulties arose in reporting this data. The background is a programming error that has since been fixed.

The data entered and collected via an app are correct and valid, it said. The evaluation is still ongoing. The aim is to publish the results “as soon as possible” during Tuesday, the party said. According to the latest information, this should happen around 5 p.m. east coast time (11 p.m. CET). The top priority is to ensure the integrity and accuracy of operations.

The app is said to have not been sufficiently tested

US media had reported that there had been problems with the app and the telephone hotline. “The app that was supposed to be reporting the results to the party failed; the back-up phone system also failed,” wrote Joe Biden’s senior campaign staffer Dana Remus.

As the “New York Times” reports, the app is said to have been developed at very short notice in the past two months. There have not been adequate tests to simulate statewide reporting of results, several anonymous sources told the newspaper.

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Several Iowa officials reported problems with the app and the hotline Monday when trying to submit their district’s results. Some are said to have waited in line for an hour.

According to the New York Times, the Democrats in Iowa had made a secret of which app they were using. Now the newspaper reports that it is a program from the technology company Shadow. The Cyber ​​Security Division at the Department of Homeland Security has said the agency did not review the app.

“Online elections are not yet ready for primetime”

An anonymous source told the New York Times that there was concern beforehand that the app might not work in places with poor network coverage. Or that it could overload the networks if many people wanted to deliver the results at the same time. The secrecy surrounding the program was also questioned. “This is an urgent reminder that online elections are not ready for prime time,” computer science professor J. Alex Halderman told the newspaper.

Even if the results from Iowa are transmitted manually during the day and it is clear whether Bernie Sanders rightly declared himself the winner: the app problem will continue to concern the Democrats. The primary elections in the state of Nevada are on February 22nd. Here, too, the results must be transmitted from the districts to the head office. To be used for this: the same app as in Iowa.

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