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University of Nebraska-Omaha professor discusses what went wrong with Iowa Caucus app

Posted at 5:39 PM, Feb 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-04 19:45:30-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — There has been a lot of discussion over the last 24 hours regarding the app used by the Iowa Democratic Party but what actually went wrong on caucus night?

Dr. Deepak Khazanchi, University of Nebraska-Omaha's associate dean at the School of Information Science and Technology said he believes the issue regarding the app came from not field testing the app correctly. He said even though the app may have worked with a small sample it probably was likely affected because of the scale.

"It doesn't seem like it's a problem with the design or development of the app but it is in the testing of the app itself," Khazanchi said. "I think most theories are it crashed because of the amount of stress that was put on the app and transmitting the data."

Dr. Khazanchi said apps such as Google Maps can handle large numbers of users at once so the magnitude of users on the app shouldn't have crashed the app.

"Even big companies that invest a lot of money have these challenges but it was surprising that it happened in the caucus because one would suspect that the technology that was being used would have been field tested," Khazanchi said.

While he didn't know the specific details of the app, Dr. Khazanchi said most apps of this magnitude should be properly tested to see how they handle a large scale event such as hundreds of caucus locations logging on at once.