An Iowa Caucus Official Was Hung Up On While Trying To Report His Precinct's Results
"Hi, hello? They hung up on me. They hung up on me. OK, I've got to get back in line on hold. They just hung up."
An Iowa caucus official was hung up on — on live TV — while trying to report his precinct's results to the state Democratic Party by phone late Monday night as candidates and their supporters angrily waited for the first official numbers to be released.
Shawn Sebastian, the caucus secretary for a precinct in Story County, said he had been on hold for over an hour with the Iowa Democratic Party, telling CNN's Wolf Blitzer that a phone app created to report the results wasn't working.
"The app, by all accounts, just, like, doesn't work so we've been recommended to call in to the hotline, and the hotline has not been responsive," Sebastian said.
While on the phone with the anchor, Sebastian finally got off hold with the party's phone line — but before he could respond, they hung up on him.
"Hi, hello? They hung up on me. They hung up on me," he said. "OK, I've got to get back in line on hold. They just hung up."
A spokesperson for the party said in a statement that it had found "inconsistencies in the reporting" of the results, saying that "the app did not go down and this is not a hack or an intrusion."
A source for one of the campaigns told BuzzFeed News, “The app is clearly not working and the backup phone line is likewise a disaster."
After being hung up on, Sebastian tweeted out the results from his precinct and got back on the phone with the state party.
Sebastian said he was able to report his precinct's results a little after 11 p.m., tweeting that it took almost 20 minutes "with all the complicated things to report."
"Starting to understand why I was on hold for so long," he said.
The delays in results came after the state party made several changes to the caucus process this year.
Under the new rules, the party planned to release three sets of numbers for the contest: the raw totals from the first round of caucusing, the raw totals from the final round after candidate cuts for viability, and the state delegate equivalents.