Clinton Campaign Alums Run Firm that Built Failed Iowa Caucus App

Hillary Clinton, accompanied by her husband former U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) and running mate Senator Tim Kaine, addresses her staff and supporters at a hotel in New York, November 9, 2016. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

The tech firm that designed the app used by the Iowa Democratic Party to report the results of its caucus is run by veterans of the Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign.

The Huffington Post reported the app was designed by Shadow, Inc., which was founded by Gerard Niemira and Krista Davis. Both Niemira and Davis worked on the Clinton campaign, Niemira as director of product and Davis as a software engineer, according to their LinkedIn profiles. Shadow’s own product manager, Ahna Rao, also worked on the Clinton campaign as special assistant to the campaign’s chief technology officer.

Shadow is an affiliate of Acronym, a Democratic non-profit. Acronym’s website states it is an “organization committed to building power and digital infrastructure for the progressive movement.”

The Iowa Democratic Party had refused to disclose the company building its caucus reporting app due to cybersecurity concerns. HuffPost reported that the Nevada Democratic Party also paid Shadow to design its caucus reporting app. The Nevada Caucus will be held February 22.

Local Iowa Democratic officials had warned state-level officials there were problems with the app days in advance of the caucus, however as of Tuesday those problems were not fixed. Reports of the caucus results have been delayed due to issues with the app.

“We found inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results. In addition to the tech systems being used to tabulate results, we are also using photos of results and a paper trail to validate that all results match and ensure that we have confidence and accuracy in the numbers we report,” Iowa Democratic Party communications director Mandy McClure said in a statement on Monday night.

“This is simply a reporting issue, the app did not go down and this is not a hack or an intrusion. The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results.”

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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