‘It kind of failed us’: With eyes of the world on Iowa, another hiccup in American democracy


Role-playing? Ok, but that’s not anything like a real simulation.

«Iowa Democrats took great pains to prevent this very situation. A breakdown in reporting on the mobile app was among the scenarios used in a role-play run in Des Moines last fall by the Defending Digital Democracy Project at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. The state party, along with its Republican counterpart, partnered with the project’s leaders for a simulation in November. They were joined by security experts as well as developers behind the website and mobile app used by the parties to publicize caucus details and report returns.

Details of a problem would arrive via email, bringing news, for example, of difficulty with the app or of false tweets claiming that the caucuses began at a different time. Democrats used the simulation to develop possible plans for caucus night, including contingencies such as bringing in the Department of Homeland Security and contacting executives at Twitter.»

At least they knew they needed a paper trail, so yay that.

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