Voting App Slows Down Iowa Caucus

NBCUniversal, Inc.

An app meant to speed things up slowed everything down during the Iowa caucus, and now some are asking if today’s technology is capable of helping the election process.

Built to manage the political chaos, the app from a Colorado company called Shadow, was made to streamline the caucus process, but couldn’t properly handle and deliver the data. So, they went back to the old-fashioned phone-in results.

“Apps need to be thoroughly tested and vetted for security and bugs,” said Nayeem Islam, CEO of Blue Hexagon Security.

Islam said an app that isn’t properly vetted is dangerous, especially when it comes to privacy.

“It’s very easy to lose data from your phones,” said Islam. “Another area where you have to do additional testing before you launch an app.”

In the Silicon Valley, voting online and through an app has been part of the conversation for years, but San Jose State University internet professor Ahmed Banafa says we’re probably not ready yet. 

Shadow agreed and said in a tweet, “We sincerely regret the delay in the reporting of the results of last night’s Iowa caucuses and the uncertainty it has caused to the candidates, their campaigns, and Democratic caucus-goers.”

“There is a lot of work we have to do before we say, yes, we have to go to the app,” said Banafa.

Another caucus is coming up on Feb. 22 and though Nevada said it will not use the Shadow app, it may look into a different one.

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