Nevada’s Democratic Party is soliciting help from one of the largest tech companies in Silicon Valley to help party officials steer clear of repeating the drama that tossed the Iowa caucus into disarray.
Officials are relying on a so-called caucus calculator accessed through a Google portal to crunch numbers to help them determine which Democratic presidential candidate will win the state, Washington Post reported Friday. They are also consulting with people at the company ahead of the state’s caucus, the report notes, citing a memo officials sent to the campaigns.
“We understand just how important it is that we get this right and protect the integrity of Nevadans’ votes,” Molly Forgey, a Nevada Democratic Party spokeswoman, told WaPo. “That’s why we quickly made the decision to drop the app and why we’ve been working around the clock to ensure that what happened in Iowa will not happen here.”
Google might not be able to help because the problem might be administrative rather than technical, some experts say.
“They’re trying, but I think they’ve got a real challenge here, and I expect problems (hopefully significantly less severe than Iowa),” David Becker, the head of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, told WaPo. “A caucus like this is prone to problems due to that lack of expertise, regardless of what tools or apps are being used.”
The decision to use Google comes after Iowa’s Democratic Party struggled to use Shadow, a company that operates the app Democrats hoped would simplify the process of counting the votes in Iowa’s roughly 1,700 precincts. Officials across the state struggled to use the app, leaving the results of the caucuses in limbo.
Former South Bend, IN, Mayor Pete Buttigieg eventually won the state a week after the Iowa caucus. Media, conservatives, and even some Democrats, scrutinized the digital company behind Shadow for weeks after the debacle upturned the Buckeye State’s caucus. Reports also revealed the Obama-era officials behind the Shadow.
Tara McGowan, a digital producer for Obama for America in 2011 and the proprietor behind Shadow’s owner, ACRONYM, which raised at least $25 million from wealthy liberals to create a media company called Courier Newsroom that is designed to deliver information favorable to Democrats.
McGowan plans on spending roughly $75 million on digital ads to rebut what Democrats believe is President Donald Trump’s insurmountable edge in battleground states, Bloomberg Businessweek reported in November. The Democratic National Committee was also intimately aware of Iowa’s use of Shadow, according to a report from Yahoo! News.
DNC Chairman Tom Perez has never acknowledged the party’s participation, promising in tweets only to help the Iowa’s Democratic Party to determine the winner of the state. Neither the DNC nor ACRONYM have responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s repeated requests for comment about Iowa’s caucus problems.
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