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Company behind troubled app used in Iowa caucuses breaks silence

Iowa dealing with aftermath of caucus issues
Iowa dealing with aftermath of caucus issues 04:55

The tech company behind the app built to report the results of the Iowa caucuses said the problem with the app was in its process to transmit data to the Iowa Democratic Party. Shadow Inc., a for-profit technology company, broke its silence in the wake of the Iowa caucuses with a series of tweets that described the breakdown in the reporting of results.

"We sincerely regret the delay in the reporting of the results of last night's Iowa caucuses and the uncertainty it has caused to the candidates, their campaigns, and Democratic caucus-goers," the company said. "As the Iowa Democratic Party has confirmed, the underlying data and collection process via Shadow's mobile caucus app was sound and accurate, but our process to transmit that caucus results data generated via the app to the IDP was not."

But Shadow also said that the issue didn't affect the underlying caucus results data and said it worked overnight to fix the issue.

The problems with the mobile app threw the Iowa caucuses into turmoil and led to a delay in the results of the long-awaited, first-in-the-nation contests. The Iowa Democratic Party said Tuesday it would announce more than half of the results at 5 p.m. EST., though it's unclear when the rest will be released.

The wait meant that all the Democratic presidential front-runners claimed victory, and many boarded planes after midnight bound for New Hampshire, which will hold the country's first primary February 11.

But the chaos has drawn new scrutiny to Shadow Inc., the progressive tech startup that built the app and that is headed by Hillary Clinton's top developer.

Shadow confirmed in its tweets it contracted with the Iowa Democratic Party to create a caucus reporting mobile app. CBS News also reported the company was working with the Nevada State Democratic Party, though the state party said it will not be using the app for its Democratic caucuses February 22.

"The goal of the app was to ensure accuracy in a complex reporting process," Shadow tweeted. "We will apply the lessons learned in the future, and have already corrected the underlying technology issue. We take these issues very seriously, and are committed to improving and evolving to support the Democratic Party's goal of modernizing its election processes."

Shadow claimed local officials did not have to use its app to report caucus results to the Iowa Democratic Party. While some precinct chairs said they were able to use the mobile app without any issues, others said they ran into problems.

The Iowa Democratic Party's problems went beyond the app's problems transmitting caucus data. Those who attempted to call results in using the IDP Caucus Hotline faced long wait times, and one precinct chair was even hung up on after waiting an hour to report results.

Shadow's statement echoed an earlier statement from the state party, which said it determined that whole the underlying data collected through the app was "sound," it was "reporting out only partial data."

"We have determined that this was due to a coding issue in the reporting system," Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price said in a statement. "This issue was identified and fixed."

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