A Romney poll watcher details the near catastrophic level of disorganization on election day when an online and centralized system of checking who voted failed massively and clearly had not been tested.
The Unmitigated Disaster Known As Project ORCA
What is Project Orca? Well, this is what they told us:
“Project ORCA is a massive undertaking – the Republican Party’s newest, unprecedented and most technologically advanced plan to win the 2012 presidential election.”
Pretty much everything in that sentence is false
Not only did the online system not work, poll watchers received no information about where to get their poll watcher certificates, which meant they could not legally watch at the polls. Team Romney said ORCA was an app, which caused many to look for it in app stores. But it was a website, not an app. Worse, the http: address of the website didn’t forward to the https: address so many thought the website was non-functional.
Combine this failure [of ORCA] with the campaign’s unorthodox choice of holding rallies in Ohio and Pennsylvania on election day, taking hundreds, if not thousands, of staff and volunteers away from vital GOTV activities, it’s clear many of Team Romney’s wounds were self-inflicted.
I can’t help but contrast this to ’92 when I was a Clinton precinct captain in Los Angeles. Organizers said poll workers would have an updated list of who had voted every hour or so, that we could read it, and to call if they refused to let us.
One of my precincts refused to let me read the list. I called the number. They had a lawyer there in 15 minutes and I got to read the list.
In contrast to the apparently bumbling Romney campaign, Obama had well-organized voter registration drives in African-American areas through barber shops and beauty salons, church members, and more. Did Romney even attempt anything like this?
The apparent almost complete failure by Team Romney to get out the vote on Election Day shows a campaign that didn’t really understand the internet and technology. They rushed a crucial website out with no testing and little or no explanation of how poll watchers, some who were probably in their seventies and eighties, were to use it, and had no backup plan or help available when it began to fail.