What Happened to the Iowa Caucus?


Democrats are in disarray after their app malfunctioned, reporting errors and inconsistencies in the results of the 2020 Iowa Caucus. 

The first Iowa Caucus occurred in 1972, making it almost a 50 year old event. The system used for determining a winner has always been old school. The delegates would raise their hand, or move to the area in the room of their designated candidate. Their votes would be counted and relayed to officials that would determine a winner.

There were multiple changes in the processes of the caucuses this year. There would be the launch of a new app created by Shadow Inc., and it would be used to report the results of the caucuses. The second change was the delegates would record their votes on paper. The last change was instead of reporting only the name of the winner from one location, every vote for every candidate was reported.

The old system has room for little error, but all the new changes caused confusion among the party. The app that would deliver the results of the caucuses from 1,700 sites more efficiently malfunctioned and reported numerous inaccuracies in the data. It was also revealed that the county chairmen had trouble downloading and logging into the app. 

The creators claimed that the inaccuracies were due to coding errors in the app. These errors should’ve been discovered had the app been tested. This raises questions as to why this app was never tested, and instills doubt in democratic supporters because of the lack of organization and execution. 

At 5pm the day after the caucuses had occurred, it was released that Pete Buttgieg was in the lead for delegate votes, and Bernie Sanders was in the lead for the popular vote. Both of them claim victory even though there were still votes being counted, piling onto the confusion. 

The Iowa caucus normally has a huge impact on who is elected. It gives voters a clearer idea of who can actually win in the primaries, and it gives the winning candidate a lot of media exposure. The caucus doesn’t seem to have it’s usual effect this year because no single candidate stands out.