HJ - Democratic Caucus 2020

Signs for some Democrat presidential candidates are left behind as participants at a Clarinda caucus Monday, Feb. 3, discuss other candidates. A technical problem with the program used to record results forced a lengthy delay in the release of the numbers. (Herald-Journal photo by John Van Nostrand)

With months of anticipation leading up to another first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucus Monday, Feb. 3, the event finished with even more attention as technical errors in the recording app with the Democrats forced a delay of releasing the results until Tuesday, Feb. 4.

Even then, not all results were available.

Tuesday, Feb. 11, Pete Buttigieg had a razor thin lead on Bernie Sanders with all of the precincts reporting, according to Iowa Democrats. On Feb. 6, the national Democrat Party suggested an entire recount of the caucus results.

According to a statement from the Iowa Democrat Party Tuesday, Feb. 4,

“Last night, more than 1,600 precinct caucuses gathered across the state of Iowa and at satellite caucuses around the world to demonstrate our shared values and goal of taking back the White House. The many volunteers running caucus sites, new voters registering as Democrats, and neighbors talking to each other about the future of our country demonstrated the strength of our party,” according to the statement.

Tampering of the program was never considered.

“We have every indication that our systems were secure and there was not a cyber security intrusion. In preparation for the caucuses, our systems were tested by independent cybersecurity consultants.

As precinct caucus results started coming in, the IDP ran them through an accuracy and quality check. It became clear that there were inconsistencies with the reports. The underlying cause of these inconsistencies was not immediately clear, and required investigation, which took time.

As this investigation unfolded, IDP staff activated pre-planned backup measures and entered data manually. This took longer than expected.

As part of our investigation, we determined with certainty that the underlying data collected via the app was sound. While the app was recording data accurately, it was reporting out only partial data. We have determined that this was due to a coding issue in the reporting system. This issue was identified and fixed. The application’s reporting issue did not impact the ability of precinct chairs to report data accurately.

Because of the required paper documentation, we have been able to verify that the data recorded in the app and used to calculate State Delegate Equivalents is valid and accurate. Precinct level results are still being reported to the IDP. While our plan is to release results as soon as possible today, our ultimate goal is to ensure that the integrity and accuracy of the process continues to be upheld.”

“This is possibly the most important election of our lifetime,” said Pat Hickey, in support of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at a Clarinda precinct. Hickey favored Sanders because of his interest in making health care more affordable, noting how some families go bankrupt after significant medical bills.

Rick Finch explained his support for Pete Buttigieg noting how the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor will put a different twist on politics.

“Answers will come to Washington,” Finch said, rather than people expecting answers to originate in the nation’s capital. Finch commented how Buttigieg will want a government-run health-care program for those who are interested so private health plans can still be utilized.

The following results from Page County precincts as of Thursday, Feb. 6 only show candidates who received state delegate equivalent points. (Think of it as dollars and cents, the bigger the number, the more support the candidate received.)

Clarinda 1: Buttigieg, .32; Klobuchar, .24; Sanders, .16.

Clarinda 2: Biden, .32; Buttigieg, .32; Klobuchar, .24; Sanders, .48.

Coin: Biden, .16; Buttigieg, .16; Klobuchar, .08; Warren, .16

Essex: Buttigieg, .16; Sanders, .32.

Shambaugh: Biden, .08; Buttigieg, .16; Klobuchar, .24; Sanders, .16; Warren, .16.

Shenandoah 1: Buttigieg, .16; Sanders, .32.

Shenandoah 2: Buttigieg, .24; Klobuchar, .16; Sanders, .24; Warren, .16

Shenandoah 3: Biden, .24; Buttigieg, .32; Klobuchar, .16; Sanders, .16.

Totals: Biden, .88; Buttigieg, 1.84; Klobuchar, 1.12; Sanders, 1.68; Warren, .48.

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