The mess at the Iowa caucus was apparently caused by reliance on a specially produced “app” for use in communicating and calculating the results. The backup chosen in the event something happened to the app was the telephone. That is, the various caucuses were to telephone in their results. There were 1600 caucuses around the state, and if they all tried to call in their results at the same time, there would be (and was) chaos.
If you stand back and look at this situation, you can wonder if someone was planning to create chaos. Because there was an easier backup than the telephone. In fact, that backup would have been as easy as the app.
It’s called “email.”
The information that each caucus was supposed to supply consisted of three numbers:
1) The pre-realignment vote total: This is the initial tally of how many people prefer each candidate at each of the more than 1,600 individual caucus sites (added together for a statewide total). Basically, it’s who got the most votes the first time around.
2) The final vote total: After the first tally, any supporters of a candidate who got less than a certain threshold of the vote (15 percent in most precincts) can shift their support to another candidate. Candidates who are below the viability threshold are eliminated as “nonviable,” and a new and final tally is taken. So this is who got the most votes after a reshuffling.
3) State delegate equivalents: The final vote total at each caucus site will then be used to assign each viable candidate a certain number of county delegates. Then those county delegate numbers will be weighted to estimate their “state delegate equivalents” (how many delegates each candidate will get at the Iowa state convention).
The individual caucuses can provide the first two numbers. They could easily email them to the central office. In addition, they could also email them (in the same email) to all of the candidates to give them advance notice of the likely results.
The central office and the candidates (if they so chose) would put the numbers onto a spreadsheet. Then the central office would use the final vote total to assign to each viable candidate a number of county delegates, and those could be weighted to estimate the state delegate equivalent. Since the latter numbers are calculated according to formula, anyone with the first two numbers can calculate the third one.
If the caucus information were provided to the candidates as well as the central office, there would be no delay, because you would (presumably) have at least ten organizations calculating the numbers.
I’m no expert in these matters. But it was easy enough to recognize that the “app” used to communicate and calculate the results might fail. So why not just email the numbers as a backup?
It’s also easy enough to imagine that the central office might—just might—be hacked or controlled by someone. So why not give the results by each caucus to each candidate for safe-keeping?
That wasn’t done. So the immediate thought to each person with half a brain is that the delay and chaos was engineered.
Despite this, the media knows the results, more or less.
- Joe Biden bombed, finishing a distant fourth.
- Bernie Sanders was at or near the top of the field
- Pete Buttigieg outperformed the polls to finish at or near the top.
If the reported results come out differently, then we know that the DNC is fiddling with the outcome.