BETTENDORF, Iowa – There’s been plenty said about the Iowa Democratic Party’s vote counting process in the 2020 Caucus, but what’s less known is some of the drama that was occurring behind the scenes.
There was a lot going on at Iowa Caucus sites like Bettendorf’s Waterfront Convention Center, which hosted all the city’s precincts.
“It got pretty bad,” admitted Scott County Democratic Party chair Elesha Gayman who was at the Bettendorf precincts.
She says the trouble started when precinct captains tried to use an App to report results to the Party’s Des Moines tabulation center.
“And basically my instructions to (the precinct workers) was to make sure you’re ready to phone these in,” she told News 8’s Jim Mertens during “News 8 This Week”.
“I don’t think this App is necessarily going to be working properly.”
But that backup proved to be a problem too.
Reports on Thursday found that some unauthorized people saw the phone number Caucus workers dialed and started calling the Party’s tabulation center in Des Moines with complaints and misinformation.
“I definitely think there was some infiltration of people who were trying to corrupt the system,” said Gayman.
And places like the Bettendorf precincts even saw the opposite occur.
“We actually had phone calls coming into our County officials asking, you know, posing to be the Democratic National National Party from random Arizona numbers or wherever wanting the official Caucus results,” she added.
The other big complaint in Bettendorf proved to be the venue’s size: 11-precincts were at the Waterfront Convention Center, making parking impossible for some.
Four tour buses arrived unexpectedly with dozens of out-of-state students showing up to witness the Caucuses.
“Had we known about things like that we probably would have done more corrective measures to make sure we had volunteers staged in the parking lot and so on,” explained Gayman.
She said the convention center was selected in Bettendorf because other venues would not have been able to handle the projected record-breaking turnout.