Iowa Caucus Voting Technology Delays Votes Causing Concern

On Monday, February 3,  the first democratic caucus took place in Iowa. This was the first of the primary elections for the 2020 democratic candidate in the 2020 presidential election. Pete Buttigieg from Indiana won the most delegates at thirteen, followed by Bernie Sanders from Vermont with twelve, although Sanders did win the popular vote, Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts with eight, Joe Biden from Delaware with six, and finally Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota with one. 

The Nation reports that “The Iowa Caucus was a disaster. The app for tabulating votes, which was developed in secret by a for-profit company named Shadow Inc, failed. It was essentially untested, and when it could not accurately count the votes, the results were delayed for days.” Personally, I am no expert on technology nor political election processes, but I would consider myself to be an average citizen who is fairly aware of what is going on in the world around them. As I have grown up, I have also grown with the lightning speed pace of technology and the internet in this day and age. I have lived through major breakthroughs and new inventions and it baffles me every time to see what new things people can create and come up with. This also comes at the risk of the technology not being intended for the benefit of society as a whole; the malpractice for personal gain and corruption to name a few. I also think that it comes at the risk of failure. Humans are nowhere near perfect, but the things they create, especially for, by and with technology, can be seen as such. 

With technology being produced for such a high stakes event as an American presidential election, especially with the events and subsequent aftermath of the previous polls, you would assume that extreme precaution would have taken place for this situation. To hear that it was “essentially untested” is quite disappointing and very concerning actually. I think now more than ever, most Americans can agree that voting is an incredibly important value to them after watching some horrifying words, actions, and tweets be written down in our history books. The polling process should be taken incredibly seriously and with great care. This means that the technology for this process should be tested and secure for citizens to vote on election day. I personally want to be able to say that I am sure about my vote being accurately counted and secure. I believe that my freedom to vote to elect who I want to sit in an office and make decisions for me and for all other Americans is arguably my most important right in this country. I do hope and believe that in the future these kinds of events will be taken care of more and that they can learn from this mishap. It is a troubling thought to think that the ballot we place our trust in to hopefully place that same trust in an elected official due to poor technology in a progressively advanced technology-rich country might not be relevant.

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