Early Returns from Iowa: Losers and Potential Winners

We may not know who won Iowa, yet we know the losers: Internet Voting, Caucusing, and Immediate Gratification.

NYTimes article: 2020 Iowa Caucus Updates: Delayed Results Lead to Confusion   <read>

“This app has never been used in any real election or tested at a statewide scale and it’s only been contemplated for use for two months now,” said Mr. Jefferson, who also serves on the board of Verified Voting, a nonpartisan election integrity organization.

“This is an embarrassment but it shouldn’t shake people’s confidence in the results,” Mr. Halderman said. “If this had been an election conducted by phone, or online, that would have been a major disaster. We might never know the results and would have had to re-run the entire contest.”

“This is an urgent reminder,” Mr. Halderman said, “of why online voting is not ready for prime time.”

A detail that emphasizes how ridiculous caucuses can be:  Count Bernie 101, Mayor Pete: 66. Result after a coin-toss: 2 delegates each.  That is actually mathematically defensible, yet unsettling. The whole process from beginning to end seems like that.

Editorial: Potential Winners…

Picking up where Dr. Halderman left off: Perhaps tomorrow, we will be able to declare two winners: Paper Records and Publicly Verifiable Elections

Too early to tell. If there are good paper records and they were displayed and photographed or otherwise verified by candidate supporters, both of those ideas will prove their value. On the other hand, even so, will those lessons actually be learned?


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