Microsoft provides app, platform for tallying Iowa caucus voting


Microsoft is providing apps and other technology for free to help the precinct officials of the Iowa caucuses being held on Monday report the results in a timely and secure fashion.

The apps are running on mobile devices and PCs and will tally up the results from the caucuses.

No errors have been reported in dry runs, although the campaign of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders is expressing concern that Microsoft, which is providing the technology for free, has contributed heavily to Hillary Clinton's campaign, reported The Hill newspaper.

"It will be interesting to see what happens if and when there are discrepancies between the Microsoft system and either Democratic or Republican campaign tabulations," Iowa State University professor Mack Shelley told The Hill.

Microsoft and its partner InterKnowlogy first revealed the app-based voting system back in June. At that time, Microsoft announced that it would be creating two apps – one for the Republican Party and one for the Democratic Party – to enable 1,700 precincts in Iowa to report voting results to the party headquarters on Monday night.

"Under the new system, each Iowa political party will have their own app available on all mobile and PC platforms, which will support the party's unique caucus voting process. The reporting apps may be used in every precinct in Iowa by both parties. The results will be securely stored and managed in Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform," explained Dan'l Lewin, corporate vice president of technology and civic engagement at Microsoft, in a blog post at the time.

Microsoft wants to avoid the situation that occurred four years ago when Mitt Romney was initially declared the winner of the Republican Iowa caucuses, but the final tally gave the victory to Rick Santorum, according to The Hill.

For more:
- read The Hill report
- see Lewin's blog post
- check out this video

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