The Corner

Orca May Not Have Worked for Romney Camp All of Election Day in Swing State

Is it possible Orca didn’t work for the Romney campaign in a swing state the entirety of Election Day?

That’s the claim one source made to me. (The campaign denies it could have occurred.) Orca, for those not familiar with it, was the Romney campaign’s computer program that was designed to constantly update throughout the day the list of those likely Romney voters and those who hadn’t, with the idea being that those who hadn’t could be contacted during the day.

Speaking about Orca, a source inside the war room of a Midwest swing state working for the Romney campaign told me, “Our dashboard was down from when the election started, when the polls opened and people first tried to log in — by people, I don’t mean people at the precincts, I mean people in the campaign headquarters and in the war room, we could never log onto the system and get voter data ever.” Did that mean, I asked, that at no point during Election Day they had been able to access Orca’s data? Correct, the source verified: “At zero points throughout the day.”

A Romney aide denied the incident. “That’s absolutely not true,” a Romney aide says. “We have tons of data showing volunteers actively marking voters as having ‘voted’ in all states – including the Midwest.”

The aide e-mailed this message as “proof alone…one of the ORCA volunteers in Michigan sent someone in political this linkedin message the day after the election”:

Hello, XXXX:

I just sent an email to you regarding Orca from Michigan. I enjoyed, until the outcome, working with you and your team. I used my iPhone for 11 hours non-stop yesterday, and I would like to help you advance that technology for future events.


When I e-mailed the source to say that the Romney campaign was denying it had happened, the source e-mailed this response back:

It’s possible Orca was running in Boston as they say. They very well may have gotten reports from 91% of counties, etc.

However, swing state war rooms around the country were down and we were not able to access the data Boston claims was pouring in. We were down from the beginning of voting until the end of election day. Obviously, we were in touch with colleagues in other Romney swing state offices during the course of the day, and they were down as well. The odds Boston only experienced problems for 90 minutes and received 91% of precinct data are long.

I haven’t been able to independently verify the source’s claims. But it’s another suggestion that Orca malfunctioned more than is currently known.

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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