Fears Grow Over Another Tech Meltdown In The Nevada Caucuses: It’s A ‘Complete Disaster’
Fears are growing that the upcoming Nevada caucuses could offer a repeat of Iowa, where technology malfunctions led to days of unknown results, reports Politico. The caucuses are scheduled for this upcoming Saturday, February 22, giving organizers less than a week to calm volunteers and deal with any last-minute bug issues.
However, it might not be enough. Multiple caucus volunteers voiced their growing anxiety over the process, claiming that the preparations have been rushed and they have been given few answers. Chief among their concerns is that volunteers had been given unclear instructions and little training for a newly adopted electronic vote-tally system.
The volunteers also claimed that party officials had refused to answer questions about internet security at the precinct sites. The number of sites total around 2,000 altogether, and will send their results to a central “war room,” leaving potential for trouble, such as jammed signals and hacked internet lines.
These were just two of the multiple complaints detailed by those working the caucuses. Other concerns included the fact that volunteers often did not know how to use the iPads that the party had purchased to tally votes.
“There were old ladies looking at me like, ‘Oh, we’re going to have iPads,'” one volunteer grumbled.
Even more confusing is the fact that the iPads had originally planned on using an app to tally votes. However, the Nevada Democratic Party recently scrapped the idea of using an app — likely due to the fiasco in Iowa.
Now, a Google form will be used to count votes, though many volunteers have expressed their confusion at how the form will employ the complicated voting rules of the caucuses.
The choice to use the Google form appeared to be such a last minute decision that one volunteer — who had previously worked in the Nevada caucuses — said that it had not even been mentioned during a training session for precinct chairs that occurred late last week.
“We weren’t told at all about it,” the volunteer said.
Another volunteer slammed the Google doc training — or lack thereof — as “horrendous.”
The combination of poor training and recent changes has many worried about how Saturday’s event will unfold. One individual pessimistically predicted that it would be a “complete disaster.”
A repeat of the Iowa caucuses could have a severe effect on the Democratic nomination process, throwing the race into further disarray.
However, politicos are hoping that clear and uncomplicated results could inject some stability into the Democratic race. For example, a strong performance from former Vice President Joe Biden could help him maintain his firewall in South Carolina and take on current front-runner Bernie Sanders. However, the Vermont senator is currently leading in the Nevada polls, and a win would edge him one step closer to the nomination.