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Iowa Democratic Party blames 'coding issue' with app for caucus debacle; timeline for releasing results still unknown


'While the app was recording data accurately, it was reporting out only partial data'

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In a statement released Tuesday morning, Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price blamed Monday night's Iowa caucus debacle on a "coding issue" with the app used to collect voting data.

"While the app was recording data accurately, it was reporting out only partial data," Price stated. "We have determined that this was due to a coding issue in the reporting system. This issue was identified and fixed. The application's reporting issue did not impact the ability of precinct chairs to report data accurately."

Price explained that as results began coming in through the app Monday night, the IDP ran them through an accuracy and quality check. It was then when they noticed significant problems with the information.

"It became clear that there were inconsistencies with the reports," he said. "The underlying cause of these inconsistencies was not immediately clear, and required investigation, which took time."

As a safety measure, IDP staff began entering data manually, but this took longer than expected, Price acknowledged. The good news is that, with the manually entered data, the IDP has been able to confirm the accuracy of the underlying data collected by the app.

The IDP's decision to use the app, developed by a firm called Shadow and funded by ACRONYM, a Democratic nonprofit organization operated by Hillary Clinton campaign veterans and connected to the Pete Buttigieg campaign, was reportedly called into question in the days and weeks leading up to the caucuses, some saying it had not been adequately tested.

It appears, at last, that concerns over the app were correct and that the IDP's tally-by-app experiment has failed.

When will results be in?

The question still on everyone's mind Tuesday morning is when exactly results will be released? Addressing that question, Price asked for patience.

"While our plan is to release results as soon as possible today, our ultimate goal is to ensure that the integrity and accuracy of the process continues to be upheld," he said.

The delay in the release of results following the Iowa caucuses Monday night caused widespread frustration and confusion among the candidates and their supporters, as Americans went to bed without a winner and without knowing the cause of the delay.

The lack of clear reporting from the IDP about what exactly the issues were led to a frenzy of speculation and angst.

Early in the night, IDP communications director Mandy McClure released a statement, chalking the delay up to "quality checks" but giving no further information.

"The integrity of the results is paramount. We have experienced a delay in the results due to quality checks and the fact that the [Iowa Democratic Party] is reporting out three data sets for the first time," McClure said.

Much later, after it was clear that the issue would not be resolved quickly, the IDP hopped on a conference call with the candidates, only to hang up when the candidates started asking questions.

Now that some answers have been given regarding the reason for the delay, the news spotlight can focus on the upcoming results.

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