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Technology Iowa's Democratic Party will reportedly use smartphone app to send out caucus results

23:45  14 january  2020
23:45  14 january  2020 Source:   cnet.com

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When the Iowa caucuses take place on February 3, the Democratic Party will use a new tool to calculate and send out the results : a smartphone app , according to a report Tuesday by NPR and Iowa Public Radio. Details about the app are still largely unknown. The report said Troy Price

Democratic Party officials are reviewing results from the Iowa caucuses after a "very small number of Marco Rubio. " Iowa has sent notice that the Republican nominee and the next president of the United The Iowa Democratic Party indicated in a separate statement it was not ready to make a call.

When the Iowa caucuses take place on February 3, the Democratic Party will use a new tool to calculate and send out the results: a smartphone app, according to a report Tuesday by NPR and Iowa Public Radio.

a group of people wearing costumes: Democratic Party leaders in Iowa will use a smartphone app to transmit caucus results. Getty© Provided by CNET Democratic Party leaders in Iowa will use a smartphone app to transmit caucus results. Getty

Details about the app are still largely unknown. The report said Troy Price, chair of Iowa's Democratic party, declined to disclose specifics about the app, including what companies designed or engineered it, or what security features have been included in the software.

Price also declined to say if the app had been vetted by outside cybersecurity experts, though he said Iowa's Democratic party worked with the national party's security team, as well as with Harvard University's Defending Digital Democracy project. The apps will be downloaded to the personal phones of caucus precinct and party leaders.

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"We as the party have taken this very seriously, and we know how important it is for us to make sure that our process is secure and that we protect the integrity of the process," Price told NPR.

He said the party would reveal more details about the app in the days before the caucuses. Price didn't return a request for comment.

The Iowa caucuses are the first major contests of the 2020 election season, crucial for candidates aiming to gain momentum as they seek the Democratic nomination. Unlike a primary election, a caucus doesn't involve voters heading to a ballot box. Instead, Iowa's caucuses are more complicated, involving people moving around a room to dedicate their support to a candidate. The process happens in person at various types of locations, including gymnasiums, church basements or libraries.

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Many Iowa Democrats experienced unprecedented levels of disorganization at their local caucuses this year, due to the incompetence of party The Sanders campaign has requested an opportunity to go through the results with the Iowa Democratic Party to resolve discrepancies and ensure accuracy.

Democratic Party leaders in Iowa will use a smartphone app to transmit caucus results.© Getty

Democratic Party leaders in Iowa will use a smartphone app to transmit caucus results.

So calculating and reporting the results can be a slower and more complicated process, with the information sometimes relayed by phone. Price said one reason for the app would be to speed up the time it takes to get the results to the public.

But election security has been a major concern since the 2016 US presidential election, when Russian operatives sought to interfere with the election. They did so more with social engineering, spreading disinformation on platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Still, cybersecurity experts worry about vulnerabilities that could come with the app. For example, if the app were to go down for a period of time, it might cause confusion at the precincts and delay the results, the NPR report said.

Nevada Democrats to use iPads loaded with Google Forms to track caucus .
Party has a two-step plan intended to avoid the reporting chaos of the Iowa caucus.The app will be loaded onto 2,000 iPads purchased by the party and distributed to precinct chairs, according to a memo signed by party Executive Director Alana Mounce seen by the Associated Press Thursday. Google's app will calculate and submit results electronically, while a second step will rely on submissions also being made by phone.

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