A county Democratic Party chairman said election workers had problems with the glitchy app at the center of the Iowa caucus debacle from “day one.”
“They only put the new app out a month ago, just four weeks ago, and we had issues from day one. It was very hard to activate,” Dan Callahan, 58, the chairman of the Buchanan County Democratic Party in rural northeast Iowa, told The Post on Tuesday.
“It’s not really intuitive. The setup process is really difficult. The main problem is trying to put the numbers in. The campaign apps worked much better than the caucus app,” Callahan said.
He said district organizers should have offered more training before relying on it to report precinct tallies on Monday and said the app was particularly difficult for older people to operate.
“People asked me if I was going to use the app and I said ‘No, I’m calling in’ but there were problems with that, too. We have more than 1,800 precincts in Iowa and if you spend five minutes reporting results, that’s a lot of hours,” he said.
Callahan said his wife tried to call the results in and was put on hold for 20 minutes.
One of the county’s precinct chairs also tried and ended up sitting on the line for 75 minutes before finally giving up.
“It was getting late and she’s in her 70s. So we said ‘Don’t worry about it, we’ll do this later,’ ” Callahan said.
Another problem complicating the use of the app was intermittent or non-existent internet service.
“I never had any confidence in it. They tried a thing like this in 2016 when they had an online reporting system and that didn’t work either because a lot of places had WiFi and internet issues,” Callahan said. “The schools had pretty good WiFi set up for us last night. So that was great, but a lot of places in Iowa are small counties so you can’t connect to the internet or WiFi and you end up having to use your cell signal.”
He said people working the caucuses are “feeling frustrated” because of the hard work everyone put in to pull off the vote.
Fault for the fiasco has to be owned by those at the top, he said.
“I have a military background and you are taught that the leader is always the one who has to say, ‘This is my fault and I didn’t do things correctly and the buck stops with me,’ and that’s what I’d like to see,” Callahan said.
He was asked if that referred to Troy Price.
“Well, he is the Iowa Democratic Party chair,” he replied.