With less than a week to go before the Nevada caucuses, it’s looking like the Democrats will have another wholesale disaster on their hands — and for the same reasons they screwed up in Iowa.
In interviews, three caucus volunteers described serious concerns about rushed preparations for the Feb. 22 election, including insufficient training for a newly-adopted electronic vote-tally system and confusing instructions on how to administer the caucuses. There are also unanswered questions about the security of Internet connections at some 2,000 precinct sites that will transmit results to a central “war room” set up by the Nevada Democratic Party.
This is after state party chairman William McCurdy said we “can confidently say that what happened in the Iowa caucus last night will not happen in Nevada.”
If the definition of “crazy” is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, Democrats are loony tunes.
This is getting serious. The integrity of the entire nomination is under question if Nevada has similar problems that Iowa had. And it doesn’t stop at insufficient training on the vote-counting app.
Some volunteers who will help run caucuses at precinct locations said they have not been trained on iPads that the party purchased to enter and transmit vote counts. Party officials scrambled to streamline their vote reporting system — settling on Google forms accessible through a saved link on the iPads — after scrapping a pair of apps they’d been planning to use until a similar app caused the fiasco in Iowa two weeks ago.
The volunteers also said the party has not provided sufficient training on how to use the Google form that will compile vote totals, a complicated process in a caucus.
Yikes. How much do you wanna bet that most of those volunteers are students at Nevada universities — young people who are so dumb they have problems signing their names? The technology is only as idiot-proof as the idiots who operate it and with college students and little old ladies, what can go wrong?
Think I’m exaggerating?
The iPads weren’t discussed until more than halfway through the presentation, the volunteer said, when someone asked how early vote totals would be added to the totals compiled live at each precinct. The person leading the training said not to worry because the iPads would do the math for them.
“There were old ladies looking at me like, ‘Oh, we’re going to have iPads,’” the volunteer told POLITICO.
Full disclosure: I am a computer ignoramus. A two-year-old orangutan would be more proficient on an iPad than me. But the Democrats are stupid enough to hire someone like me to help choose their nominee?
Politico points out why screwing up in Nevada will hurt so bad.
The concerns, which were described on condition of anonymity because the volunteers are not authorized to speak to reporters, come at a perilous moment for the Democratic Party. As the third state on the primary calendar and the first with a significant minority population, Nevada holds huge importance in the nomination contest. The debacle in Iowa cost one state party chairman his job and threatened the standing of the national party chairman, while casting doubts about whether the results from party-run caucuses can be trusted.
Nevada Democratic officials insist they have everything under control. But a repeat of Iowa — or any kind of breakdown — would be disastrous.
It’s just not minorities who are ready to pounce if another debacle ensues in Nevada. The national media is primed to give it to the Democrats. First of all, their screw-ups are making journalists stay up past their bedtime. Plus, they have all these pre-written storylines about victory and defeat for this candidate or that they can’t use because the results aren’t known.
All that work for nothing.
So sit back, relax, pop some popcorn, and strap it down. Nevada looks like it’s going to be a wild one.