For three-plus years, the Democratic party has emphasized the sanctity of the election process and its importance to the American ideal of democracy. Then, on their first crack at overseeing the democratic process, the Iowa Democratic Party and Democrat National Committee dramatically botched the Iowa caucus last week.
On Tuesday, the party that is looking to retake the White House gets a second chance at redemption in New Hampshire. The main difference in New Hampshire is that voters will be participating in a primary, not a caucus like Iowa. But is there a chance that the nation could be in for another reporting debacle tonight?
Last week, the Shadow app that was built to streamline the precinct reporting process in Iowa failed miserably, leading to only 62% of the vote being counted a day after polling closed. A full week later, the results are still unclear with multiple candidates claiming victory in the state.
Thanks to the breakneck speed of the news cycle, the Democrats have an opportunity to move past the Iowa embarrassment, but that is only if they can manage to get through Tuesday’s vote without incident.
On the other hand, the failure of the Iowa Democratic Party to publish the results promptly and the numerous factual errors in the vote tally gave voters little confidence. Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders have questioned whether leaders of the DNC are attempting to kneecap his candidacy.
If the Democrats’ plan this election cycle was to restore public faith in the electoral process following the 2016 presidential election, the party has failed to gain that trust from America out of the gate.
But as is often the case in politics, there is a path to redemption for the party, and that path starts in New Hampshire.
Controversy is already creeping into New Hampshire as the primary will be the first test of a new state law that requires anyone voting with an out-of-state license, and who intends to drive, to get a New Hampshire license within 60 days.
Opponents say that this is nothing more than a poll tax on college students.
Polling suggests that Sanders is the front runner in New Hampshire with 26.6% committed to him, followed by 19.4% who support his chief rival, former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.