CNN interview with Iowa precinct official sums up caucus chaos

Chuck Ross, DCNF

The chaos surrounding the tabulation of Iowa Democratic caucus results was on full display during a hilarious CNN interview on Monday.

Wolf Blitzer was speaking with Shawn Sebastian, a precinct secretary in Story County who was one of many local election officials who was having trouble connecting with the Iowa Democratic Party to report the results of the caucus in his precinct.

While speaking with the CNN host, Sebastian was also on hold waiting to talk to an election official to report caucus results.

The interview took a positive turn as an election official was heard coming on the line to speak with Sebastian, who had been on hold for an hour. It quickly went south when the official hung up on Sebastian as he was explaining to Blitzer that he had to end the interview.

Caucus results were stalled at precincts across the state because of a malfunctioning phone app that the Iowa Democratic party began using in 2020.

“The app, by all accounts, just like doesn’t work, so we’ve been recommended to call into the hotline, and the hotline has not been responsive,” Sebastian told Blitzer.

“Shawn, have you gotten any explanation at all as to what’s going on?”

“No, I have not,” said Sebastian, who was waiting on hold for an hour to speak with a state election official while he was conducting the CNN interview.

As Sebastian and Blitzer were talking, an election official is heard coming on the phone with Sebastian. But instead of responding to the woman, Sebastian continued speaking to the CNN newsman.

“This is a real coincidence, Wolf,” Sebastian said. “I just got off hold just now, so I’ve got to get off the phone to report the results.”


“Hello?” the woman says twice.

“OK, hi, hello,” Sebastian is heard saying to the woman.

He paused, then said: “They hung up on me. They hung up on me.”

“Ok, I’ve got to get back in line on hold,” Sebastian said.

“So frustrating, indeed,” said Blitzer.

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