Despite rumors on Twitter to the contrary, by almost all accounts the Microsoft app used to tally unverified caucus votes in Iowa worked exactly as it was supposed to. What broke were the web sites where Republicans and Democrats posted close to real-time information about those votes, which at times crashed under the crush of people eager for news of their candidates. That didn’t surprise Douglas W. Jones, the recording secretary for the Democratic caucus, precinct 4 in Iowa City, Iowa. “In the modern, media-driven world, we’re desperate for results,” he said. His son Nathaniel Douglas, 32, send their caucus results in to the county Democratic party using the app built by Microsoft for the purpose, which he said “worked as advertised.” In precincts where workers didn’t have smart phones, the older updating system of calling in and pressing buttons on a touch-tone phone after inputting a PIN for security was used. “Both systems worked fine,” Douglas said. … At their heart, they are a way for Iowa voters to chose delegates to county, district and state political conventions who will then go on to chose their candidate. That process is heavily scrutinized and has very reliable and very old security baked into it — “it all happens on paper, which we’ve been using for elections going back to Roman times,” said Jones, who is also a professor of computer science at the University of Iowa and an expert on online voting systems.
Douglas spent Monday night filling out “pages and pages and pages of new voter registration papers and pages of check-in forms, all in triplicate,” he said. Then at the end of the evening “we delivered a great big bulging envelope of paper to the county party and to the state party. We have a pretty good feel for how to deal with the security of paper ballots,” he said. … While important, that function is not the focus of ballot security for the parties. “It was low stakes,” said Jones.
Which is why a few hiccups in reporting on unofficial websites didn’t matter and isn’t any sort of security concern, said Pamela Smith with Verified Voting, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that advocates for accuracy, transparency and verifiability of elections. The app and the websites that at times crashed were part of the rapid, but unofficial system, meant mainly to notify the press but this year used by an unexpected flood of regular voters, she said. “The website wasn’t the actual, official, record. So any problem with the app or the website doesn’t matter,” she said. “The caucus results that matter to the parties are the results delivered on party.”
Full Article: Iowa caucus vote tallying system worked perfectly.