Iowa Caucuses 2016
By Rodney Guzman, CEO/CDO/Co-Founder/Owner
It was February 1st, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. Central and the Iowa Caucuses just started. It took us over a year to get to that point and we were ready for an all-night event. Countless hours of meetings with both political parties, UX design work to define the system, and a huge build effort to create a dozen mobile apps, IVR integration (for backup), back office workflow apps, and web apps for the public. Some of our team was sitting with the Republican party, others with the Democratic party, and others were sitting behind a makeshift NOC to closely monitor Azure while the caucuses were happening. Back home in San Diego, the remainder of our Iowa Caucus team was on call to support the onsite team.
I was sitting with the Republican party waiting for the first result to be reported. It was probably the longest 20 minutes of my professional life. We had performed countless load testing scenarios and tested submitting precinct results thousands of times, so we knew it would work. Once that first result came in, then another, and then another, my anxiety level went down immediately. As the results came flying in, the Republican party was shocked at the numbers they were getting because the voter turnout was much higher than expected. But this was very different now than what each party had in 2012 – this time the experience was digitized. Getting the results in quickly was one thing, but believing in the results was another. Confidence level was high with the hundreds of precincts being reported. After some validation the Republican party was ecstatic that everything was flowing so well. And after a mere three hours, compared to the many days of angst in 2012, they were ready to call the winner.
By all accounts the Iowa Caucuses was a huge success. InterKnowlogy played a strong role in transforming how caucuses and primaries can be run more efficiently, securely and reliably. We proved you can take modern technology and infuse it into the voting process. We are looking forward to the next election cycle to make the process even smoother, and bringing it to more states. But our work is not yet done in this election year. In a couple of weeks we’ll be in Philadelphia at the Democratic National Convention where we are providing an app to collect the delegate results. The app is an update of the one we made for the DNC in 2012, with several new features. November is coming, and it’s powered by InterKnowlogy!