A smartphone app tasked with reporting the results of the Iowa caucus has crashed, delaying the result of the first major count in nominating a Democratic candidate to run for the U.S. presidency.
The result of the Iowa caucus was due to be transmitted by smartphone apps from delegates across the state on Monday, but a “quality control” issue was detected shortly before the result was expected.
“We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results,” said Mandy McClure, a spokesperson for the Iowa Democratic Party, in a statement posted on Twitter.
“In addition to the tech systems being used to tabulate results, we are also using photos of results and a paper trail to value that all results match and ensure that we have confidence and accuracy in the numbers we report,” said McClure, saying this was “not a hack or an intrusion.”
“The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results,” she said.
Some reports say that the result may not be called before Tuesday.
A report by NPR in January said the smartphone app was designed to save time in reporting the results, but bucked the trend in the use of smartphones in the voting process during a time when there are concerns that voting machines and other election infrastructure are feared vulnerable to hackers. Security concerns were raised about the app, whose developer has not yet been named nor its security practices, fearing that doing so would help hackers break into the system.
But the app was reportedly described as buggy and problematic by officials hours before the final results were due to be called. Screenshots in tweets seen by TechCrunch, but have since been deleted, showed problems with the app as early as 6PM local time.
One of the precinct chairs in Shelby County said they would call in their results instead.
At least one party, the general counsel of Biden for President, has already written into the IDP requesting to see the results and respond to them in light of the problems before they are released to the public, so there may be more delays to come.
Iowa is an important first round of votes to nominate a Democratic candidate for the presidency. The final candidate will be chosen later this year to run against presumed Republican candidate President Donald Trump.
Update: Several outlets are reporting that Shadow, a Democrat-leaning tech firm that develops voter engagement, fundraising tools and related analytics, is behind the app, although that information has not been confirmed by the Democrats nor by Shadow itself.