Iowa disaster prompts Nevada Dems to drop caucus tech plan

Precinct captain Carl Voss, of Des Moines, Iowa, holds his iPhone that shows the Iowa Democratic Party's caucus reporting app Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Reacting to tech troubles in Iowa, Nevada Democrats scrapped plans to use similar technology at their caucuses in less than three weeks, as early primary voting states sought to reassure the public that they could pull off smooth elections.

Officials in South Carolina and New Hampshire expressed confidence in their primary election systems, while Democrats in Nevada, the third state to vote, said they were taking steps to prevent the chaos seen in Iowa.

Nevada State Democratic Party chair William McCurdy II issued a statement Tuesday saying the party “can confidently say that what happened in the Iowa caucus last night will not happen in Nevada.”

“We will not be employing the same app or vendor used in the Iowa caucus," McCurdy said. "We had already developed a series of backups and redundant reporting systems, and are currently evaluating the best path forward."

During a conference call with reporters late Tuesday afternoon, the party's executive director Alana Mounce had few answers but confirmed the party would not use apps developed by the vendor Shadow Inc., which was behind the technology used in Iowa.

Democrats in Nevada had planned to use more technology than Iowa in their Feb. 22 caucuses. They had announced plans to use two apps: one to tabulate results, as Iowa did, and a second app preloaded onto tablets for voters to use at caucus sites to cast online votes during four days of early voting.

The party has not ruled out using another app to tabulate results, Mounce said, but has no list of other technology vendors right now that they're pursuing or talking to in order to use a different app.

Mounce did not answer a question about how the party could find a new app to use in such a short time frame, instead reiterating that the party was evaluating its options.