Iowa Caucus Results Using the Shadow App

From Wiki-PETE-ia

Iowa Caucus Results Using the Shadow App

This page will be updated as more information is released.

The Facts

The Pete for America campaign paid Shadow, Inc. (the company that also created the separate Iowa Caucus app) $42,500 in July of 2019 for a subscription to their text messaging software – a totally different technology service. The campaign did not invest in the company itself. Nor did the campaign develop or fund the Iowa Caucus app. The Biden and Gillibrand campaigns also paid for the texting software that the Buttigieg campaign uses, as did the Texas Democratic Party and others.[1] [2] [3] [4]

Other False Claims and Conspiracy Theories

There was a targeted campaign of misinformation intended to suppress voter confidence in election process following the confusion around the delayed Iowa caucus results. Reporter Sam Stein commented “I get why conspiracy theories are flourishing now. But people should get a grip. There are paper ballots. The caucuses happen OUT IN THE OPEN FOR EVERYONE TO SEE. And each campaign has internal data to check if things are messy. There isn’t a wizard behind the curtain here.” [5] Noted election forecaster Rachel Bitecofer tweeted “The results of this Caucus, while delayed & a mess will actually be the most reliable we’ve EVER had from the D version of the IA Caucus bc it had a highly regulated paper trail so I’m not sure why @Morning_Joe & @WillieGeist panel keeps delegitimizing the actual results,” [6]

Cyber Attack

U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and co-chair of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus, issued the following statement regarding the Iowa caucus: “As the Department of Homeland Security has said, there is no indication that the failures associated with the app from last night’s caucuses were the result of malicious cyber activity.[7]

Did Shadow and Parent Company donate to PFA?

It is not unusual that some Democrats working for Shadow (and its parent company, Acronym) have donated to various Democratic candidate campaigns. However, the FEC record is clear that Founder and CEO of Acronym, Tara McGowan, only made donations of $3 to Pete for America, $25 to ILHAN FOR CONGRESS, and $2 to Kamala Harris.[8] Founder and CEO of Shadow, Gerard Niemira gave $50 to Kristin Gillibrand and $300 to the Association of State Democratic Committees.[9]

Rounding Errors

An early charge of rounding errors was refuted when experts pointed to the Iowa Caucus Rules use of the Hamilton Apportionment Method to award delegates, not the more common "rounding" a number by replacing it with a different number that is approximately equal to the original, such as replacing $23.4476 with $23.45. A rule in the IDP Precinct Leader Manual says that if the number of viable delegates is higher than the number calculated based on those who voted and the candidates still in the race, an extra delegate is given out. That extra delegate is given to the candidate with the highest decimal below .5. If there is a tie then a coin toss takes place for that extra delegate.[10] Actual mathematical mistakes may also have occurred but are correctable.

Pete for America Early Predictions

Pete for America had observers and precinct captains self report precinct data to the campaign on the night of the caucus. This allowed the campaign to track the results and publish them on the PFA website. "Our precinct captains reported full caucus results in 1,259 precincts-- this represents approximately 75% of the total precincts and just over 150,000 total votes. We have partial results for another 42 precincts."[11] The Sanders campaign utilized a similar method and published their tracking data before the official Iowa results.

Shadow, Inc and Acronym

Shadow, Inc was founded by Gerard Niemira, a former Hillary Clinton staffer to “create tools to make Democratic party political organizing more effective.” Shadow was launched January 2019, utilizing a peer to peer texting messaging software tool for organizing campaign volunteers called Groundbase. Groundbase, also co-founded by Niemira, was acquired by Shadow. Executives from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 digital campaign operation took their skills to Shadow. Shadow developed various programs/apps: Shadow texting, Lightrail (a data integration program used by campaigns to transfer info between data streams), and the Iowa reporting smartphone app to help precinct chairs record results from each round of voting. Acronym is a non-profit organization, founded by Tara McGowan, which invests in for-profit progressive news sites, digital consulting services, and merchandise vendors. Acronym is the primary investor in Shadow.[12] [13] [14]