Key Republicans criticize Iowa app maker Shadow

Top Republicans on two key House committees on Thursday condemned the company that built the smartphone app used by the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) to tabulate votes during the Iowa caucuses.

Reps. Rodney Davis (Ill.) and Mike Rogers (Ala.), the ranking members on the House Administration and Homeland Security Committees, which have jurisdiction over election security, sent a letter to Shadow CEO Gerard Niemira expressing “grave concern” over the app his company built.

“In order for democracy to work, Americans must believe the results of their elections, and caucuses, are rock-solid and secure beyond a shadow of a doubt,” Davis and Rogers wrote. “Unfortunately, by choosing not to test your app for any technical glitches prior to its roll-out, your company has caused significant doubt over the Caucus results and, consequently, has undermined electoral confidence.”

The House Republicans pointed to comments made by acting Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf earlier this week that the IDP turned down offers by DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to test the app, along with reports that a top tech official at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) urged the IDP not to use the Shadow app.

The app, built by Shadow Inc., had what the IDP described as a “coding issue” that caused difficulty in tabulating votes cast during the Iowa caucuses on Monday. Iowa Democratic officials were forced to delay reporting of the caucus results, with results slowly being released starting Tuesday.

Shadow, which is affiliated with Democratic non-profit Acronym, did not respond to The Hill’s request for comment on the letter.

Niemira did put out a statement apologizing for problems using the app earlier this week, saying that Shadow “sincerely regrets” the delay in reporting of the vote count in Iowa, and vowing to “apply the lessons learned in the future.”