Report: DNC “Intimately Involved” in Development of Botched Iowa Caucuses App
Documents reveal that the DNC was intimately involved in the development of the botched voting app used recently during the Iowa caucuses, according to a report from Yahoo News.
The caucuses were thrown into chaos after the app–which was developed to record the results from the caucuses–failed. Ultimately, Iowa’s Democratic Party declared former Indianapolis mayor Pete Buttigieg the winner of the caucuses after he earned the most delegates. However, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won the popular vote, garnering more than 2,500 votes than his competitor.
A Democratic operative from Iowa provided Yahoo News with the contract and correspondence between the DNC and app developer, Shadow Inc. The contract was signed on October 14, 2019 and shows Shadow as the “Consultant” and states that the company had to work with the DNC and provide the organization with access to its software for testing.
“Consultant agrees to work with the DNC Services Corporation / Democratic National Committee (‘DNC’) on an on-going basis as Consultant develops the software,” states the contract.
It also says the developer will “provide DNC continual access to review the Consultant’s system configurations, security and system logs, system designs, data flow designs, security controls (preventative and detective), and operational plans for how the Consultant will use and run the Software for informational dissemination, pre-registration, tabulation, and reporting throughout the caucus process.”
An email also shows that the CEO of the DNC and its deputy chief technology officer helped draft the contract.
An email provided to Yahoo News also appears to show that Seema Nanda, the CEO of the DNC, and Kat Atwater, the national party’s deputy chief technology officer, were involved in drafting the contract and requested the addition of the provision that gave them access to Shadow and the app. In the email, dated July 30, 2019, Atwater provided an IDP official with draft text for the provision detailing the DNC’s access to the app. Atwater, in the email, said the provision was specifically requested by Nanda.
“In discussing our placement in the process with Seema on Friday, she suggested that it would be helpful to include the following provision in the contracts with your vendors,” Atwater wrote to the IDP.
Of course, the DNC is denying any major involvement in the disastrous app.
Communications director Xochitl Hinojosa claims the DNC requested access to the software “solely for the purpose of doing security testing.”
“The DNC drafted broad language to make sure whatever vendor IDP ultimately hired was required to work with the DNC’s cyber-security consultant,” she said. “We did not build the application, nor did we provide ‘oversight’ of its development — that’s the vendor’s responsibility. We only provided security assistance.”
In a recent New York Times article, DNC Chairman Tom Perez blamed the Iowa Democratic Party for the voting debacle:
“Troy Price was doing his best, but it wasn’t enough,” Mr. Perez said in an interview with The Times on Sunday, noting that while the national and state parties work in partnership, the Iowa Democratic Party is ultimately responsible for administering its own nominating contest.
This was disputed by a Yahoo News source involved in the Iowa caucuses who found the comments “extremely frustrating” because Perez did not disclose the DNC’s role in the app development.
“They were intimately involved in this process,” the source said of the DNC, and pointed out that the CTO, Atwater participated in multiple conference calls during the development of the app.
Iowa Democratic Party Chairman, Troy Price, resigned Wednesday and took responsibility for the disaster which unfolded throughout the caucuses.
“The fact is that Democrats deserved better than what happened on caucus night. As chair of this party, I am deeply sorry for what happened and bear the responsibility for any failures on behalf of the Iowa Democratic Party,” said Price.
He continued, “While it is my desire to stay in this role and see this process through to completion, I do believe it is time for the Iowa Democratic Party to begin looking forward, and my presence in my current role makes that more difficult.”
For the full Yahoo News report, click HERE.