The Democratic Party instituted something called “quality control” during the Iowa caucuses, and Twitter went wild. The memes and jokes and GIFs flew, and you can see some of them throughout this article.
A lot of upset Bernie Sanders voters, still smarting from their belief that party insiders treated him unfairly the last time around, took to social media to express great concern about fairness in the process this time too. Some conservatives couldn’t help mocking the opposition over the quality control controversy. The opaque, vaguely ominous sounding phrase “quality control” wasn’t helping, nor was the delay in getting results.
Then came news via a reporter for The Hill that results might not come in on February 3 at all.
There was word that the Party abruptly ended a call with the campaigns.
Here’s what the Democratic Party had to say about its “quality control” checks initially, according to NBC News: “We are doing our quality control checks, making sure the numbers are accurate. People are still caucusing, we’re working to report results soon.”
NBC pointed out that 80 percent of the vote was in at the same point in the evening in 2016, which was fueling some of the consternation on Twitter by people concerned the process is “rigged.”
Then, the party released another statement, revealing that the “quality control” checks had unearthed “inconsistencies” in the results. Bernie Sanders had led in the polls going into Iowa, which had some of his supporters worried that Party insiders want to derail his candidacy.
The new Iowa Democratic Party statement read, “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. 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.”
Nate Cohn, who is a respected political analyst for The New York Times’ Upshot page, wrote on Twitter, “…the Iowa Democratic Party saying ‘quality control’ definitely raises my eyebrows. This year, they’re getting all the results for the first time. And I wonder whether they’re finding out that people just aren’t doing this right a lot more often than they thought.”
Around 9 p.m. central time, he also indicated: “By this time, nearly 80 percent of the total vote was counted in the Iowa Democratic caucus in 2016, at least based on the data we have saved from last time.” Here’s how CNBC put it: “Developing: Iowa State Democratic Party spokesperson tells @NBCNews that it is putting caucus data through quality control procedures out of an abundance of caution and currently has no timetable for when any results would be released.”
Here’s what you need to know:
The Democratic Party Is Using a New App This Time Around
According to the New York Times, for the first time ever in the Iowa caucuses, those attending have to fill out a “presidential preference card” to indicate who they want; the cards, The Times reported, are “individually numbered and have other security features,” so there’s a “paper trail” of results.
The Times added that the Iowa Democratic Party is using a new app that was described as a “fancy calculator,” to help tabulate results, which are then sent to the HQ of the Iowa Democratic Party. Once those results come in, according to the Times, they are reviewed for outliers and anomalies.
Sure enough, Democratic officials told CBS News of the delay in results that “officials are combing through the information coming from the caucuses for any discrepancies that could be related to human error.”
Robby Mook, former Hillary Clinton campaign manager, has been involved in some of the Democratic Party’s security efforts in Iowa, according to USA Today.
The ‘Quality Control’ Delay Upset Some Democrats on Twitter & Sparked Jokes From Conservatives
Here’s a sample of the reaction from some on Twitter:
“’Quality control’ is just exactly the phrase you expect a party controlled by corporate elites to use when delaying vote announcements because they’re in total shock at how poorly their favored ‘top-tier’ ‘electable’ candidate did #IowaCaucuses.”
“I’m not ready to cry conspiracy, but the Democratic Party had a credibility problem heading into this and running “quality control” in private with no transparency certainly isn’t helping.”
“ok so ‘quality control’ is DNC-speak for ‘we’re f*cking Bernie Sanders over’, is that correct?”
READ NEXT: Iowa Caucuses Live Results.