The Iowa Democratic caucuses were plagued by tech problems that went far beyond issues with an app

iowa caucus 2020

One week later, and the first Democratic primary election of 2020 remains undecided.

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Mayor Pete Buttigieg are both leading the pack, but issues with the Iowa caucus results persist.Advertisement

Those issues are due in part to major tech issues, including a coding issue with an app that was developed explicitly for reporting caucus results. But a new report in the New York Times on Monday reveals that Iowa's Democratic caucus had myriad tech issues.

Among them: the state party's chief financial officer, Melissa Watson, "did not know how to operate a Google spreadsheet application used to input data," the Times report says. Though it's not spelled out, the application in question is likely Google Sheets - Google's version of Microsoft Excel.

Watson didn't respond to a request for comment as of publishing.
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FILE PHOTO: Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price speaks ahead of the Iowa Caucus results announcement in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Brenna Norman

Beyond that issue, at least one other major tech hitch reportedly happened. As a security measure, Iowa volunteers in Des Moines weren't allowed to bring their smartphones into the counting room. But the computers they were using were set up with two-factor authentication, which required those volunteers to have their smartphones in order to retrieve the code that would verify they were who they said they were.Advertisement

Since they didn't have their smartphones, the report says, "volunteers resorted to passing around a spare iPad" to get logged in.

The tech issues were far from the only problems with the Iowa Democratic caucus, but they're representative of the bigger issues plaguing Democrats leading into the 2020 US Presidential election.

Read the latest on the Iowa Democratic Caucus right here.

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