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.

Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @3fecta Not holding my breath but I am laughing pretty hard making it hard to breathe.
16mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel LOL Kristol has no fucking clue what the deadlines are. https://t.co/n0ja26uG6q
34mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @SimonMaloy I'm hoping someone stakes out all the Bushies to see if they even go to the polls (tho assume Poppy absentees)
39mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel I think @Aelkus is right that the F-35 would make a killer musical. https://t.co/e9cTqIYZHg
55mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @JZdziarski You know, buying tacos in bulk is what brought Chapo Guzman down.
57mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @joshgerstein Don't rush yourself. You've got 6 months of definite articles ahead of you.
59mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @johnrobb: A nullified electorate. https://t.co/bLMv2fg4cT
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @TVietor08 The first rule of the DC echo chamber is you don't talk about the DC echo chamber. I think.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @TVietor08 I don't know him so could care less he's a nice guy. I think people are embarrassed he exposed the echo chamber.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @TimCushing: Homeland Security Wants To Subpoena Us Over A Clearly Hyperbolic Techdirt Comment https://t.co/KiCMpFDcvl
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @j0ncampbell It seriously is. By same token, the DLC/DNC centrist Dems are in process of doing that vis a vis their youth+future now.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @j0ncampbell And, hahahaha, now they have Trump! But this is where the "insiders" are reaping what they have sowing vein Kerr raised.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
May 2016
S M T W T F S
« Apr    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031