Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Volunteers tabulate the votes on the presidential preference cards during an Iowa Democratic Party Caucus meeting at Fort Madison High School in Fort Madison, Iowa, on February 3, 2020. (Photo: Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Vowing No Repeat of Iowa Caucus Fiasco, Nevada Dems Say They Won't Use Secretive Shadow Inc. App

"There is no doubt that Nevada should disregard this app," Jeff Weaver, senior adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign, said ahead of the announcement.

Jake Johnson

The Nevada State Democratic Party on Tuesday announced it has abandoned plans to use the mobile app at the center of Iowa's election mess in Nevada's Feb. 22 caucus amid fears the technology could throw another presidential contest into chaos.

"NV Dems can confidently say that what happened in the Iowa caucus last night will not happen in Nevada on February 22nd," William McCurdy II, chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party, said in a statement. "We will not be employing the same app or vendor used in the Iowa caucus. We had already developed a series of backups and redundant reporting systems, and are currently evaluating the best path forward."

"Maybe it's not always a great idea to outsource, privatize, and corporatize the most basic services in a democracy."
—David Sirota, Sanders speechwriter

McCurdy's statement came after Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign urged Nevada Democrats to ditch the app, which was developed by the secretive for-profit technology firm Shadow Inc. with the stated goal of getting election results to the public more quickly. Shadow is owned by the Democratic digital non-profit organization ACRONYM.

The Nevada State Democratic Party paid Shadow $58,000 last August for "technology services," according to Federal Election Commission filings.

Jeff Weaver, senior adviser to Sanders, told Politico Tuesday that given the chaos the hastily developed and untested software unleashed in Iowa, "there is no doubt that Nevada should disregard this app."

CNN, citing an anonymous person familiar with the app, reported earlier Tuesday that the software was "due to be used in the Nevada Democratic caucuses later this month."

An anonymous Democratic source told CNN that the major delay in Iowa's reporting the caucus results "seems to lie with a major coding error in the app that was discovered once data started flowing into the [Iowa Democratic Party] and party officials began to see discrepancies in the three data streams as the results started coming." The Iowa Democratic Party told Democratic presidential campaigns during a call Tuesday that it would release approximately 50% of the results by 5pm ET.

Troy Price, chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, acknowledged in a statement Tuesday that the app was central to the botched caucus process.

"While the app was recording data accurately, it was reporting out only partial data," said Price. "We have determined that this was due to a coding issue in the reporting system. The issue was identified and fixed. The application's reporting issue did not impact the ability of precinct chairs to report data accurately."

David Sirota, speechwriter for the Sanders campaign, suggested in a tweet Tuesday that "maybe it's not always a great idea to outsource, privatize, and corporatize the most basic services in a democracy."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Manchin Threatening Key Climate Provision: Reports

"To take it out is to decide that climate change isn't a problem."

Andrea Germanos ·


'Make a Gesture of Humanity': Pope Francis Urges Pharma Giants to Release Covid-19 Vaccine Patents

"There are countries where only three or four percent of the inhabitants have been vaccinated."

Andrea Germanos ·


Manchin Fumes After Sanders Op-Ed in West Virginia Paper Calls Out Obstruction of Biden Agenda

"Poll after poll shows overwhelming support for this legislation," wrote Sanders. "Two Democratic senators remain in opposition, including Sen. Joe Manchin."

Andrea Germanos ·


US to Offer 'Condolence Payments' to Relatives of 10 Civilians Killed in Drone Strike

The Pentagon statement follows a call for President Joe Biden to "show real concern for civilians by taking more meaningful steps to prevent civilian casualties as a result of all U.S. lethal operations."

Andrea Germanos ·


New Filing Reveals Sinema Pads Campaign Coffers With More Pharma and Finance Funds

"This is what someone who's bought and paid for looks like."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo