The Iowa Debacle

NYT:

A night that was supposed to bring clarity to the Democratic presidential contest turned into a long ordeal of confusion and delays on Monday, as the Iowa Democratic Party failed to report results from more than a handful of precincts for hours after the state’s famed caucuses began.

Struggling to adopt a new byzantine process of tabulating results, Iowa Democrats offered little explanation for the problem for hours after the caucuses began. Eventually, not long before midnight on the East Coast, a spokeswoman for the state party said there was no issue with the integrity of the vote but it was taking longer than anticipated to collect and check the reported data for irregularities.

“This is simply a reporting issue, the app did not go down and this is not a hack or an intrusion,” said Mandy McClure, a spokeswoman for the Iowa Democratic Party. “The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results.”

In the absence of hard results, election watchers in Iowa and across the country, who had eagerly been awaiting the start of the Democratic nominating process, had to make do with televised snippets of scenes from caucus sites, many of them playing out in messy fashion on college campuses and in local meeting halls and gymnasiums.

CNN:

Presidential campaigns have been told tonight to not expect any results from the Iowa caucuses until at some point on Tuesday, two officials tell CNN.

“At this point now they need to get it right,” one official said.

An Iowa Democratic official said results are still being collected now — and will be overnight if the precinct chairs keep calling them in. There was no estimated time given to campaigns

I had a tweet thread with some thoughts in the context of election meltdowns, beginning here:

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