Romney's Get-Out-the-Vote App Failed Miserably

A volunteer says ORCA was a monumental screw-up

By Kevin Spak,  Newser User

Posted Nov 9, 2012 3:15 PM CST
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(Newser) – Before election day, the Romney campaign was touting something it called "Project ORCA," an app that was supposed to revolutionize and digitize the GOP's get-out-the vote efforts. How did it work out? Well one volunteer who was using it—John Ekdahl from the Ace of Spades HQ—calls it a massive, possibly unprecedented failure. Basically, it was just a digitized version of the old tactic of watching polls to see if known Republicans have voted, and calling anyone who hasn't.

But it was so poorly administered that it couldn't even accomplish that. Crucial information was never communicated, leaving Ekdahl unable to even watch the polls. has a number of similar reports from other volunteers. The entire system wound up crashing for good at 4pm Eastern—Politico reports that the software had never even been tested before election day. Sources confirm that it crashed constantly, leaving Romney's team to watch public sources like CNN for data. One source likened it to landing a plane "without instruments."

Back in May, the Romney camp rolled out a phone app with a misspelling of America.
Back in May, the Romney camp rolled out a phone app with a misspelling of "America."   (Twitter/File)
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A PBS segment, posted online Nov. 5, in which the Romney campaign touts its ORCA project.   (YouTube)

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