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Sport Clinton campaign veterans linked with app that contributed to caucus chaos

20:31  04 february  2020
20:31  04 february  2020 Source:   msn.com

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22 caucuses , despite earlier reports to the contrary. The app was issued by Jimmy Hickey of Shadow Inc., metadata of the program that the Des Moines Register analyzed Tuesday shows. He can be reached at 515-699-7058 or jclayworth@dmreg.com. The Associated Press contributed to this article.

The firm behind the phone app that caused delays in reporting the results of the Iowa Democratic caucus is operated by three Hillary Clinton campaign veterans . ACRONYM, a Democrat- linked technology and campaign consulting nonprofit group, owns Shadow Inc.

The smartphone application blamed in part for the ongoing delay in reporting results of the Monday Iowa caucuses is linked with key Iowa and national Democrats associated with Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The app was issued by Jimmy Hickey of Shadow Inc., metadata of the program the Des Moines Register analyzed Tuesday shows. Gerard Niemira and Krista Davis, who worked for Clinton’s 2016 campaign, co-founded Shadow.

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The faulty tabulation app , now being blamed for sending the Iowa Democratic caucus into complete chaos , has been linked to a firm called “SHADOW” and a Democratic non-profit known as “ACRONYM,” founded by former members of Hillary Clinton ’s 2016 presidential campaign .

On Monday, a coding issue with the mobile app that the Iowa Democratic Party planned to use to report the results of their state caucus caused a People who worked on Hillary Clinton ’s failed presidential campaign were behind the app that caused chaos in the Iowa caucus on Monday night.

Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price worked as Clinton’s 2016 Iowa political director. He did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday about the relationship between the party and Shadow, which it paid $63,184 for website development and travel expenses, according to reports filed with the Iowa Ethics & Campaign Disclosure Board.

a group of people standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: University of Iowa students hold up numbered cards while they caucus, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, at the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City, Iowa.© Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen University of Iowa students hold up numbered cards while they caucus, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, at the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City, Iowa.

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It was unclear whether the state party had chosen the app on its own, or had received guidance from the national party. Shadow's website indicates close ties to the National Democratic Party.

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An app created by a tech firm run by veterans of Hillary Clinton 's 2016 presidential campaign is Results from Monday's caucuses could not be transmitted to Iowa party headquarters, and state Confusion among caucus organizers over how to use the app also seemed to contribute to the

The firm behind the phone app that caused delays in reporting the results of the Iowa Democratic caucus is operated by three Hillary Clinton campaign veterans . ACRONYM, a Democrat- linked technology and campaign consulting nonprofit group, owns Shadow Inc.

More: Iowa Democratic caucuses results on hold, smartphone app fails: What we know

a man wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Troy Price© Special to the Register Troy Price

“When a light is shining, Shadows are a constant companion,” it says. “We see ourselves as building a long-term, side-by-side ‘Shadow’ of tech infrastructure to the Democratic Party and the progressive community at large.”

Security watchdogs had called on Iowa Democrats to be more transparent about the development and testing of the app prior to Monday’s caucuses. But Democrats declined to name the developer or provide testing details, saying top cybersecurity experts advised against releasing too much information because it could result in the vendor being targeted.

Shadow collected $153,768 in 2019 from seven different Democratic or advocacy campaigns, mostly for technology, software and subscription services such as text messaging, according to Federal Election Commission data. Among them were the presidential campaigns of former Vice President Joe Biden and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, as well as the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, according to the federal reports.

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The app was meant to make reporting caucus results easier and quicker, while increasing voting integrity and reducing vulnerability to hacks. Instead, problems with the app made many precincts unable to report their caucus results. The chaos meant that 0 percent of the actual results were

The little-known technology start-up under scrutiny after the meltdown of the Iowa Democratic caucuses on Monday was founded little more than a year ago by veterans of Hillary Clinton ’s failed 2016 presidential campaign who had presented themselves as gurus of campaigning in the digital era.

Company officials did not immediately respond Tuesday to a request for comment.

Price on Tuesday morning issued a statement saying that because of a coding problem, the app reported only partial data.

"We have determined that this was due to a coding issue in the reporting system,” Price said. “This issue was identified and fixed. The application’s reporting issue did not impact the ability of precinct chairs to report data accurately."

Efforts to confirm the count continued Tuesday, with the party saying it would release results sometime later in the day.

There were numerous complaints Tuesday from county- and precinct-level Democratic chairs that the app had been troublesome in the lead-up to the caucuses, and again on caucus night. Many said they had attempted to report their results by phone instead of using it, but encountered long hold times and dropped calls.

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Deb Copeland, a Des Moines precinct chair, said her team chose to report results via phone.

“I didn’t even bother” to download the app “because we had an informal Facebook group and people were saying they couldn’t get it to do anything and had so many questions,” Copeland said.

The app was not vetted or evaluated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Christopher Krebs, the department’s cybersecurity agency director, told the New York Times on Monday night.

The same app was slated to be used by the Nevada Democratic Party, which will hold its caucuses on Feb. 22. A spokeswoman for the Nevada State Democratic Party did not respond to a reporter’s questions about the technology on Monday night or Tuesday morning. Alana Mounce, the party’s executive director, also could not be reached.

Kiersten Todt, managing director of the Cyber Readiness Institute, an organization started by the CEOs of businesses like Microsoft to reduce hacking risks, had expressed cautions about the app prior to Monday’s caucus. On Tuesday, she called for political parties and the federal government to do a better job of working together on elections, which she said could have helped Iowa avoid the reporting problems.

Jason Clayworth is an investigative reporter at the Des Moines Register. He can be reached at 515-699-7058 or jclayworth@dmreg.com.

The Reno (Nevada) Gazette Journal contributed to this article.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Clinton campaign veterans linked with app that contributed to caucus chaos

Amid irregularities, AP unable to declare winner in Iowa .
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Associated Press said Thursday that it is unable to declare a winner of Iowa's Democratic caucuses. Following the Iowa Democratic Party's release of new results late Thursday night, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg leads Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by two state delegate equivalents out of 2,152 counted. That is a margin of 0.09 percentage points. However, there is evidence the party has not accurately tabulated some of its results, including those released late Thursday that the party reported as complete.

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