Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price on Wednesday announced his resignation, more than a week after the state caucuses descended into chaos because of a faulty smartphone app used to tabulate and report results.
Price's resignation will take effect as soon as an interim chair is elected this Saturday.
"The fact is that Democrats deserved better than what happened on caucus night," Price wrote in a resignation letter. "While it is my desire to stay in this role and see this process through to completion, I do believe it is time for the Iowa Democratic Party to begin looking forward, and my presence in my current role makes that more difficult."
At the center of the debacle was an app built by Shadow, Inc., a company that describes itself as a creator of "political power for the progressive movement" and says it focuses on accessible and user-centered tech. The IDP said the problem was a "coding issue" with the system, which caused the app to only report out partial data. The party stressed the technical issues didn't compromise the accuracy of the reporting data and didn't result from a hack or breach.
Still, the app had worried cybersecurity experts for weeks. They were concerned about vulnerabilities that could come with the app, and they feared a delay in the results could cause people to doubt the legitimacy of the outcome. After the caucuses, Price told reporters he himself had not tested the app, according to CBS News, a CNET sister site.
The state party still hasn't released official results from the caucuses, and there will be a partially recanvassing starting Sunday. The Democratic Party from Nevada, the next state to hold caucuses, said it won't use Shadow's app for its contest on Feb. 22.
Price's full resignation letter is below:
Dear Members of the Iowa Democratic Party State Central Committee,
Serving as Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party has been one of the greatest honors of my life.
When I took over this party, we were still reeling from a bruising 2016 election cycle. Many people locally and across the country believed that Democrats in Iowa were dead, and that we would never see victories again.
Over the course of 2017 and 2018, I was so proud to work with the members of our state central committee, our county chairs, activists, and volunteers to build real momentum across the state. In the end, we proved the naysayers wrong by flipping seven seats in the Iowa House, winning three statewide seats, and winning three of four congressional seats - sending the first women from Iowa to the House in the process.
While we could have rested on our laurels, we got back to work. Over the last 15 months, Democrats across the state came together to build out our 2020 caucuses. Our amazing staff fanned out across the state to build infrastructure in all 99 counties -- even in places where local parties had gone dormant or didn't exist at all. We worked to implement sweeping changes to our process that increased accessibility and participation for Iowans across the state and the globe.
By all accounts, the precinct and satellite caucus meetings themselves went well. Over the last week, we have received positive feedback on these meetings -- how smoothly they ran, how the new procedures helped to make the night move more quickly and efficiently, and how more Democrats of all backgrounds came together united in the goal of defeating Donald Trump and electing new leadership for our country.
However, there is no doubt that the process of reporting results did not work. It was simply unacceptable. It is why I called for an independent review of the decisions and processes that lead to this failure. While this process is just beginning, know that the IDP is not the only party to blame for what happened last week. We worked collaboratively with our partners, our vendors, and the DNC in this process, and I am confident the review will be able to determine exactly what went wrong, what went right, and how we can avoid this from ever happening again.
In the days following the caucuses, our staff worked under immense pressure to produce a complete report of results from the caucuses and was able to do so in 72 hours. Enduring threats to personal safety, taunts, and anger from people around the globe, our staff worked in a professional manner to produce a final result. I am incredibly proud of the work they did in those three days. These are people who are working hard towards our common goal of electing Democrats in November, and I deeply regret that these dedicated employees of our party had to endure such abuse.
The fact is that Democrats deserved better than what happened on caucus night. As chair of this party, I am deeply sorry for what happened and bear the responsibility for any failures on behalf of the Iowa Democratic Party.
While it is my desire to stay in this role and see this process through to completion, I do believe it is time for the Iowa Democratic Party to begin looking forward, and my presence in my current role makes that more difficult.
Therefore, I will resign as chair of the Iowa Democratic Party effective upon the election of my replacement.
I will be calling for an emergency meeting of the State Central Committee on Saturday at 1pm to elect an interim chair. Whomever is elected will oversee the completion of the recanvass and recount process and begin the process of healing our party.
Our paramount goal must remain to elect Democrats at all levels of office that will bring the voice of the people to our government.
In spite of the challenges these last few days, I leave knowing that the party is in a strong position to move forward. Thousands of new Democrats joined our party through our caucus process. The Iowa Democratic Party currently has more money than ever before at this point in an election cycle. The infrastructure built through these last few months will allow us to build an organization that will turn Iowa Blue in November. And Iowa still has the best elected officials, candidates, volunteers, and activists of anywhere in the country.
Leadership requires tough decisions, and this is one of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make. Throughout my tenure as chair, I have always said I would do what is in the best interest of the party. With my decision, I hope the party can regain the trust of those we lost and turn our attention to what is most important -- winning in November.
Chair, Iowa Democratic Party