A coding error in the app used by the Democratic Party in Iowa has been blamed for significant delays in reporting the results of the state’s caucus.
The new app was developed so caucus results – the votes of Democratic Party members for their preferred presidential candidate – could be reported more quickly following Monday’s vote.
But instead of speeding things up a coding error in the app led to the data being only partially reported, forcing the Democratic Party to resort to manual systems in order to verify vote counts.
The results are now expected at 5pm local time (10pm UK time) on Tuesday.
Shadow, the company which developed the app, posted on Twitter: “We sincerely regret the delay in the reporting of the results of last night’s Iowa caucuses, and the uncertainty it has caused to candidates, their campaigns, and Democratic caucus-goers.”
The app developer continued in another post: “Importantly, this issue did not affect the underlying caucus results data.
“We worked as quickly as possible overnight to resolve this issue, and the IDP has worked diligently to verify results.”
The chairman for the Iowa Democratic Party, Troy Price, had earlier said: “As part of our investigation, we determined with certainty that the underlying data collected via the app was sound.
“While the app was recording data accurately, it was reporting out only partial data. We have determined that this was due to a coding issue in the reporting system. This issue was identified and fixed.”
Despite the issue being fixed, Mr Price declined to say that the results of the caucus would be reported on Tuesday.
The results will be the first indication of who Democratic Party members believe will best be able to challenge Donald Trump in the presidential election later this year.
Initial results were delayed due to “inconsistencies” causing widespread confusion among the campaigns, with the party being forced to explain that its voting app wasn’t hacked or interfered with.
“We have every indication that our systems were secure and there was not a cyber security intrusion,” Mr Price said. “In preparation for the caucuses, our systems were tested by independent cyber security consultants.”
The Democrat Caucus is an unmitigated disaster. Nothing works, just like they ran the Country. Remember the 5 Billion Dollar Obamacare Website, that should have cost 2% of that. The only person that can claim a very big victory in Iowa last night is “Trump”.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 4, 2020
The embarrassing situation was seized on by Donald Trump, who described it as an “unmitigated disaster” on Twitter while celebrating the incident as an example of his opponents’ incompetence.
The blundering start to voting was accompanied by mixed messages from Democratic candidates, with both Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg claiming their own figures suggested they had won the state.
“I don’t think there’s a person in the country more impatient than I am [to get official results],” Mr Buttigieg told MSNBC.
“I have a strong feeling that at some point the results will be announced, and when those results are announced I have a good feeling we’re going to be doing very, very well here in Iowa,” Mr Sanders told his cheering supporters.