BREAKING: Company Behind App Used By Iowa Democrats Issues Apology

The app makers behind the technology that led to the Iowa Democrat caucus debacle last night have issued an apology.

The Nevada Democratic party has announced they will not use the problematic Shadow app.

Troy Price, the chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, told campaigns in a letter obtained by CNN that a “coding issue” with the app was preventing it from transmitting accurate data.

“While the app was recording data accurately, it was reporting out only partial data,” Price wrote. “This issue was identified and fixed.” Price added that paper backups have successfully validated the data that made it into the app.

Per CNN Shadow Inc., the company behind the app used by Iowa Democrats last night, has apologized in its first public comment about the problems.

“We sincerely regret the delay in the reporting of the results of last night’s Iowa caucuses and the uncertainty it has caused to the candidates, their campaigns, and Democratic caucus-goers,” the company said in a tweet.

Here’s the rest of the company’s statement:

“As the Iowa Democratic Party has confirmed, the underlying data and collection process via Shadow’s mobile caucus app was sound and accurate, but our process to transmit that caucus results data generated via the app to the IDP was not.

Importantly, this issue did not affect the underlying caucus results data. We worked as quickly as possible overnight to resolve this issue, and the IDP has worked diligently to verify results.

Shadow is an independent, for-profit technology company that contracted with the Iowa Democratic Party to build a caucus reporting mobile app, which was optional for local officials to use. The goal of the app was to ensure accuracy in a complex reporting process.

We will apply the lessons learned in the future, and have already corrected the underlying technology issue. We take these issues very seriously, and are committed to improving and evolving to support the Democratic Party’s goal of modernizing its election processes.”

Some background: The app was built to collect and report the caucus results, but some precinct officials said they had issues reporting the results of their caucuses through the app.

The software issues were the start of a cascading series of problems — including difficulties getting through on the phone to report results after precinct officials had trouble with the app — that led the Iowa Democratic Party to hold off on releasing results last night.

According to their website:

We are campaign and technology veterans who have built and implemented technology at Hillary for America, Obama for America, Google, Kiva, Apple, the AFL-CIO, and the DNC.

Our passion is to create a permanent advantage for progressive campaigns
 and causes through technology.

MSN reports an app created by a tech firm run by veterans of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign is taking heat for the unprecedented delay in reporting Democratic caucus results from Iowa.

The firm behind the app reportedly is Shadow, an affiliate of ACRONYM, a Democratic nonprofit founded in 2017 “to educate, inspire, register, and mobilize voters,” according to its website. Shadow started out as Groundbase, a tech developer co-founded by Gerard Niemira and Krista Davis, who worked for the tech team on Clinton’s campaign for the 2016 Democratic nomination.

Niemira had previously worked at kiva.org, a nonprofit that makes loans to entrepreneurs and others in the developing world, and Davis had spent eight years as an engineer at Google. ACRONYM’s founder and CEO is Tara McGowan, a former journalist and digital producer with President Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign.

Designed to modernize a system that relied on precinct chairs phoning in their results, Shadow’s caucus app was seen as “a potential target for early election interference,” according to the Des Moines Register.

Instead, results from Monday’s caucuses could not be transmitted to Iowa party headquarters and the delays increased. Results are not expected until later Tuesday.

“We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results. In addition to the tech systems being used to tabulate results, we are also using photos of results and a paper trail to validate that all results match and ensure that we have confidence and accuracy in the numbers we report,” Iowa Democratic Party communications director Mandy McClure said in a written statement released late Monday night.

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