Iowa Caucus Chaos

Iowa Caucus Chaos

The recent Iowa Elective process has led to great chaos when inconsistencies were found in the polling results due to incorrect data in the Application. Party officials have stated, the underlying data put in the app was reliable, but it is unclear yet how they know this or even what they consider ‘underlying data’. Iowa democratic governing body assured in its press report published on Tuesday that their systems were tested by independent cybersecurity consultants and were absolutely secure.

Iowa Caucus Vote Casting Planning

Before the process, Iowa Party Chairman Troy Prince has stated

We take our responsibility to protect the integrity of our democratic process and secure Iowan’s vote very seriously. We continue to work closely with security experts to prepare our systems and we are confident in the security systems we have in place“.

While on the other hand, few professors and cybersecurity professionals had predicted that the application that was downloaded on personal cell phones will lead to inconsistent results.

Douglas Jones, an associate professor of computer science at the University of IOWA stated

 “The net result is if you’re running an app on a cellphone that has other apps installed, you really don’t know what permissions those other apps have and if they are in a position to be nefarious“.

Particulars Of The Voting App

The Iowa Democrats were using an application made by a biased liberal start-up named Shadow Inc., managed by a nonprofit investment organization known by the name ‘Acronym’.

Post this event, Acronym has detached itself from Shadow stating “We are reading confirmed reports of Shadow’s work with the Iowa democratic party on Twitter and we, like everyone else, are eagerly awaiting more information.. with respect to what happened“.

Iowa Democrats have clarified that backup measures for the Shadow app took longer than anticipated. This leads to increased curiosity among Candidates and Voters, questioning the democratic party for the selection criteria of this application. Also why the democrats did not take the app from Microsoft, a well-renowned organization, as in 2016 elections.

Intercepted Security Issue

In this case, the Intercepted issue is not CyberSecurity where the defending mechanism is against Hackers. The key issue was Information security, which is a wider umbrella and focuses on a quick recovery, whether being hit by a cyberattack or any human/natural disaster. Cybersecurity falls under a bigger bucket of Information security and resilience planning.

Hence, in this case, it can be concluded that testing was not appropriately performed to guarantee that a back-up plan was certain, which ended up each stage taking longer than expected. Considering all kinds of risks and getting ready with a contingency plan before such an event is a necessity and was entirely absent in this scenario.

Reviews Of Candidates And Voters

With other campaign team crowing about the confusion, public spaces have been crowded with shreds of rumors, questioning the authenticity of the voters’ results. Even candidates are questioning if the results have been tainted: Vice president, Joe Biden’s campaign complained about ” considerable flaws” in the reporting system and necessitated an explanation of the app’s quality controls before any results were released publicly.

Voters are more concentrated on how party leaders will guarantee that votes going forward have clear contingency plans in place, not just to protect against Hackers, but from all types of technology failures. Iowa shows how technical errors can easily sabotage public trust

As I and others have been arguing, the technology involved beyond the polling place- including, in particular, the election night reporting system – can cause doubts that independently undermine confidence in results.” said Naithaniel Persily, Co-director of of Stanford Cyber Police Center.

Charles Warzel, as a regular citizen speaks of this as in a tweet

 “I did not know about this Iowa Caucus voting app until tonight but holy lord it’s scary to think about the security of the results entrusted to a smartphone“.



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