ORCA

Did Michael Hayden Pick the Contractor for Mitt’s Voter Turnout Website?

A lot of people are laughing at this account of Mitt Romney’s ORCA–and automated GOTV tracking system. Rather than the efficient new system that would leapfrog Obama’s turnout machine, the system crashed even before the evening rush started.

The entire purpose of this project was to digitize the decades-old practice of strike lists. The old way was to sit with your paper and mark off people that have voted and every hour or so, someone from the campaign would come get your list and take it back to local headquarters. Then, they’d begin contacting people that hadn’t voted yet and encourage them to head to the polls. It’s worked for years.

From the very start there were warning signs. After signing up, you were invited to take part in nightly conference calls. The calls were more of the slick marketing speech type than helpful training sessions. There was a lot of “rah-rahs” and lofty talk about how this would change the ballgame.

Working primarily as a web developer, I had some serious questions. Things like “Has this been stress tested?”, “Is there redundancy in place?” and “What steps have been taken to combat a coordinated DDOS attack or the like?”, among others. These types of questions were brushed aside (truth be told, they never took one of my questions). They assured us that the system had been relentlessly tested and would be a tremendous success.

[snip]

Now a note about the technology itself. For starters, this was billed as an “app” when it was actually a mobile-optimized website (or “web app”). For days I saw people on Twitter saying they couldn’t find the app on the Android Market or iTunes and couldn’t download it. Well, that’s because it didn’t exist. It was a website. This created a ton of confusion. Not to mention that they didn’t even “turn it on” until 6AM in the morning, so people couldn’t properly familiarize themselves with how it worked on their personal phone beforehand.

[snip]

From what I understand, the entire system crashed at around 4PM.

FWIW, Obama’s campaign had two innovations from 2008 this year. For vote trackers–the same purpose as this website was supposed to serve–they had bar code labels for each voter that the tracker would collect on a sheet to be picked up; I assume–but did not see–someone came and picked up those labels and used them later in the day.

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emptywheel @JasonLeopold Holy shit. They're such a mockery of themselves. Please please please used that tweet the next time they Glomar you?
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emptywheel RT @JasonLeopold: haha. Good 1! #GLOMAR RT @CIA Aug. 16, 1974: Hughes #Glomar Explorer arrives in Hawaii. Follow us next week to find out w…
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emptywheel @onekade And by "they" I should specify "John Brennan." Among others surely. But John Brennan.
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emptywheel @onekade That to. But it is definitely a fact that they used tortured derived claims to justify the dragnet. Fact.
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emptywheel @onekade You have to justify dragnet somehow. One way to do so is to ask people you're torturing to confirm theory that requires dragnets.
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emptywheel @onekade I know this shocks you.
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emptywheel Holy shit was torture ever useful for the security state.
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bmaz I am simply despondent nobody in DC will go be my ears at the @930Club for the Big Star concert tomorrow night? Come on big time slackers.
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bmaz @janehamsher Can you not fix this?? https://t.co/Y8OfrJ5Hao
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bmaz Come on you DC mopes, I would do it for you in a heartbeat. @dcbigjohn @930Club
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bmaz Seriously, apparently @dcbigjohn has failed, is there NOBODY in DC who will stand in for me at Big Star concert at @930Club tomorrow night??
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bmaz @lyssophobe May "the locals" find a sinkhole of social Darwinism. (Some my be distant relatives of mine).
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