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California Officials Say Iowa Caucus Problems Can't Happen In Primary

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- The botched voting process in the Iowa caucuses has California officials reassuring voters ahead of the upcoming March 3rd primary.

Iowa Democrats say they have finally reported all the results from Mondays caucus, but some inconsistencies remain.

"Look, I've been hearing about it nonstop since Monday Night," said California Secretary of State Alex Padilla. "What happened in Iowa? How do we know that's not going to happen here in California?"

That Padilla feels the need to reassure voters here just reflects the scale of the fiasco in Iowa. Of course, this was not Iowa's fault. The mess lands squarely in the lap of the Iowa Democratic Party.

"Well, as the state party chair, I have some level of empathy for my colleagues in Iowa," says Rusty Hicks, Chairman of the California Democratic Party. He says he's not worried about March 3rd.

"So our process is run by the Secretary of State," said Hicks of the primary. "I have the utmost confidence that we will have a fair, accurate and complete count."

But even if Iowa turns out to be a one-off caucus mess, the troubled app, the confusion, and the embarrassment could change the larger conversation around how we vote.

"One thing I have seen in my career is that there are a lot of people who know a lot about technology and not about elections, and people who know a lot about elections and not a lot about technology," explained President of the California Voter Foundation Kim Alexander. "Sometimes they get together and come up with ideas that don't work out."

Alexander says Iowa could have profound implications for how elections are managed by political parties and governments.

"In some ways I think Iowa is a blessing in disguise," said Alexander. "It really has made people stop and think about how we are using new technology in the voting process. Are we using it in sensible ways. Has it been fully tested?"

For all the technology in California, it is still a paper ballot state. In fact, California doesn't even allow the voting system to touch the internet.

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