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Trump Trolls Disrupting the Iowa Caucus is Another Harbinger of the Times

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The dust left from the disastrous Iowa Democratic presidential caucuses is all but settled with Vt. Sen. Bernie Sanders awarded equal pledged delegates as former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg.

The controversy resulting from the faulty "Shadow" app has raised enough alarm to cause future primary states intending to use it to reconsider.

But while the issues with the app were the main culprits behind the confusion, some problems arose that had nothing to do with Shadow's flaws.

After the app failed to transmit caucus data, a telephone hotline system became the alternative reporting mechanism.

This too proved frustrating.

Matthew Marroquin, a caucus captain for a satellite precinct in northwest Iowa's Buena Vista county, explained:

"The website wasn't working, so we had to go to this hotline, where we had to wait, like, an hour to get anybody on the other line. And when we did, we got people on the other side who were breaking down crying. The whole thing took forever."

The hotline holdup, however, was not entirely due to mismanagement.

Trump supporters got a hold of the hotline number and flooded it with "an unusually high volume, " according to Mandy McClure, Iowa Democratic party communications director.

Committee member Ken Sagar said the disruption was deliberate.

The number apparently went public after caucus paperwork pictures were posted online, particularly on the alt-right fringe internet message board 4chan.

University of California at Irvine election law professor Rick Hasen warned that evidence of a coordinated attempt to circumvent the hotline's reporting "could well be a crime".

We know by now that cheating is not beneath Donald Trump or his proxies.

He admitted as much when he stated during an ABC News interview:

"If somebody called from a country, Norway, 'we have information on your opponent' - oh, I think I'd want to hear it."

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)
 

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