Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Prayers for this Iowa caucus official and his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad night
Photo: Mario Tama (Getty Images)

Welp, the bloated boondoggle that is the modern Democratic Party has done it again, fudging up the Iowa caucus so badly that Trump isn’t even wrong when he says that he emerged as last night’s big winner. And serving as the public’s frustrated, exhausted embodiment last night was Shawn Sebastian, an Iowa caucus official who, after an app designed for the caucus went haywire, was hung up on—on live TV—after waiting an hour to try and report the results of his precinct.

See, caucusgoers flocked to nearly 1,700 Iowa stations on Monday to ride for their preferred candidate, each hoping to see their presidential hopeful finish the evening on top. The Iowa caucus, after all, has historically been a strong indicator of who will end up winning the primary. Unfortunately, what was once a relatively smooth operation was undone both by this mysterious app—made by a company called Shadow!—and new rules regarding how the results would be released.

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Speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer last night, Sebastian offered some insight into what it was like on the ground in Iowa. “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,” he said. Then, in a turn of events as funny as it was tragic, he got through to an Iowa Democratic Party official, only for them to hang up on him as he said goodbye to Blitzer.

“Hi, hello? They hung up on me,” Sebastian said, his voice dripping with weary resignation. “They hung up on me.” Knowing that this night was going to be one of the longest of his life, he regretfully told Blitzer, “I’ve got to get back in line on hold. They just hung up.”

Watch it below.

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With time to kill, he took to Twitter to share the results with the world. “These are the results that I’ve been trying to report for about 2 hours now,” he wrote. “I was on hold for about 90 min, CNN wanted to interview about my experience, and in that moment I got off hold... but couldn’t get on fast enough and they hung up on me.” He was still on hold, by the way.

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And for those of you in my mentions: clearly I think this is really messed up too!” he continued.I don’t think this is a way to do democracy. I was just following the rules and this is the outcome the rules got us.”

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Sebastian delivered his numbers eventually, but took this as an opportunity to say the Iowa caucus’ problems go deeper than just tech issues. “The real problems with the #IACaucus started before we got in the room,” he wrote, elaborating in a thread which you can follow below.

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The results, meanwhile, have, as of this writing, not been revealed. As we wait, why not revisit this Onion headline from 16 years ago?

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Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com

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Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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