Nevada GOP to report caucus results with smartphones

Getty Images

Nevada GOP presidential caucus officials will report the results of Tuesday night’s contests using pictures snapped on their smartphones — a marked contrast to the Microsoft-built app that was used to deliver results in Iowa.  

The Wall Street Journal reported that GOP officials are hoping to avoid a repeat of the 2012, when final results in Nevada were not officially reported until days after the caucuses, long after news organizations had called the race for Mitt Romney. 

In 2012, press reports noted that the hand counts in some counties were not finished more than a day after the polls closed because of discrepancies. The Las Vegas Sun  said at the time that the process was marked by “disorganization, bickering and bumbling at nearly every turn.”

While those setbacks did not cause much turmoil because of Romney’s large margin of victory, the GOP results are expected to be much closer this year. 

The Journal also reported that the combination of a competitive contest, an underfunded state party and a decentralized process have officials bracing for some confusion on Tuesday.  

ADVERTISEMENT
There will be 130 caucus locations set up across the state to deal with the 1,700 precincts. According to the party, officials at each caucus location will tally the results and send them off to the county and state headquarters “via telephone and photo confirmation.” The Associated Press also has been tasked with delivering the results from Nevada to the public and flagging any “data issues” with the numbers.    

“A smartphone picture of the tally sheet will be sent to the party,”  a fact sheet provided by the party reads. “Results will be compiled and reviewed by the party, and shared with AP. As the news organization inserts the results into its election system, it will share any data issues with the party.”

The state party will officially then certify the totals “upon physical receipt” of all tallies.  

The set-up in Nevada is a contrast to the Iowa caucuses, which were reported using a Microsoft-built app and backed up by its cloud technology. The app amounted to little more than a password-protected interface into which caucus officials could enter their results. Back ups were designed to flag anomalies and double check inputs.  

The tech giant donated its time in Iowa but did not partner with any other state parties this election cycle. Microsoft said its reporting app worked flawlessly in the Hawkeye State, despite concerns about allowing a major corporation to help with the process.