Democratic Iowa Caucus Causes Chaos

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Sofia Cruz

Caucuses are essential to presidential races, and the chaos in Iowa was totally unexpected. Situations such as these affect citizens including Gables students. Cavaliers are reminded of their government everyday with the flags that fly in classrooms, among other symbols of the country that remain prevalent.

Sofia Cruz, Staff Writer

Debates, campaigning and other preparations for the 2020 presidential election have led to the Democratic caucuses in Iowa. The meeting is meant for party members to express their preference among candidates running for the office of the United States presidency. On Feb. 3 people gathered at almost over 1,600 sites around the state to support the prospective runners. While trying to submit their votes however, party leaders noticed significant issues with the application that caused a delay in the results and created debates over the numbers that were eventually released.

Democrats showed up at polling stations in the Hawkeye state on Monday, Feb. 3,  to show support for their party, but issues soon arose. First of all, the turnout was less than disappointing. What many expected to be a surge of voters in retaliation to the current government leaders simply could not compare to past years.

The projections seemed to be at the same rate as the 2016 Caucus, and with an estimated 170,000 people compared to the 240,000 in 2008, a massive gap showed the lack of enthusiasm. The insufficient numbers frustrated party leaders attempting to rally support for their causes, but this was not even the main problem.

Regardless of the impressive number of absences, the show continued throughout the night as more difficulties developed. Voters registered their top choices of candidates through an online application.

Unfortunately for those involved, the app started failing its users. One of the issues arose from new rules dividing the caucus cotes into three sections. Attendees first voted on their preferred candidate, then those who chose unpopular candidates picked a backup and finally the number of delegates per candidate was decided on.

This new system only led to more complications and confusion. At the same time, the application crashed and many experienced the inability to log in or meet the cutoff deadline. To top it all off, many were left on the telephone hotline for hours, waiting to get their problems fixed by party leaders to no avail.

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It is outstanding how incompetent the government is at doing its job. One of the most important things they do is handle votes and make sure the peoples’ voice is heard, and they could not even handle this caucus”

— freshman Edglhys Jr Lopez said.

In the end, the results of the polls continued to trickle in over the next few days. Nothing had been reported yet at around the same time that the 2016 caucus had 90% of its results out. The errors experienced also created doubts surrounding the legitimacy of the numbers as they slowly came out.

Live updates display the lagging results, which have so far shown former mayor Pete Buttigieg in the lead with around 26.5% of the votes. Bernie Sanders follows closely with 25.6%, with Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden trailing behind. The Democratic National Committee has since been pressured to help state officials by reviewing data to ensure its accuracy.

“The Iowa Caucus was a conflicting event for a lot of Democrats because it was the first major event besides the debates to get the attention of the nation. They tried to come out strong and united, but it made them even more divided than ever. They even got some of their data wrong and I do not think the results even represented the country as a whole,” sophomore Benjamin Pla said.

Suffice it to say, this caucus has appeared insufficient in its execution and representation of the United States government. The situation in Iowa has been shocking to voters and candidates alike and will most likely go down in history.