Did an App Cost Mitt Romney the Election?
It may go down a one of the most costly blunders in election history.
According to recent reports, a series of flaws related to an app developed by the Romney campaign may have cost the Republican presidential candidate a large number of votes in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, possibly costing him the election.
A few days before the presidential election, Mitt Romney’s campaign announced what it hoped would be its secret weapon at the polls. Dubbed Project Orca, the newly designed app would allow volunteers to search for and mark off voters as they left the polling location, allowing the Romney campaign to quickly and efficiently identify supporters who had not yet voted.
John Ekdahl, a Romney volunteer and author of a detailed Orca postmortem, wrote that training materials were vague and inaccurate. Volunteers were told to look for a native mobile app when Orca was a web app. The URL was for an HTTPS site, but the equivalent HTTP address didn’t forward users to the right page, so anyone who mistyped or simply started with “www” would find nothing. During peak voting hours the app went down, and hundreds of volunteers reported problems with the app, leaving them with little recourse as ballots were cast.