Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and his campaign team are in a disupte with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) over the vote tallying system in Iowa.
Sanders’s team claims that it will boycott the vote monitoring apps created through a partnership between Microsoft and both the Republican and the Democratic parties. Sanders claims that his team will not employ Microsoft’s apps in the Iowa Caucus that will be held this week.
Microsoft had announced in June that it would provide the Azure-based system to the Caucus so that it could log the results efficiently and quickly. This would be the first time that the process is taking an automated approach. Sanders does not want Microsoft to be involved especially on account of the generous donations that the company’s officials handed to Hillary Clinton in her 2008 campaign.
The Democratic candidate and his team do not trust Microsoft’s system and have announced that they will employ their own reporting system in which they can place more trust. However, the team has not revealed what technology is incorporated into the system that they plan to use. Tech specialists suggest that open source software would be used in such situations. They argue that commercial tech from firms such as Microsoft could have backdoor access that would allow rigging.
Iowa Democratic Party’s communications director Sam Lau stated that Microsoft’s system would boost security, accuracy and efficiency in the voting process. He also pointed out that most campaigns use their own tracking technologies that complement those provided by the political parties.
Microsoft has also issued a comment stating that its technology was designed to offer neutrality, accuracy and efficiency. The Republicans have no problem with the system provided by Microsoft, but they have their own system on standby. Sanders team is expected to release more information about their system.