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Romney’s Get Out the Vote Fiasco (Project ORCA - Must Read)
Commentary ^ | 11/9/2012 | Bethany Mandel

Posted on 11/09/2012 3:43:19 PM PST by mojito

The Wednesday before the election, Mitt Romney sent a special message to volunteers about a special project his campaign was working on: “With state of the art technology and an extremely dedicated group of volunteers, our campaign will have an unprecedented advantage on election day.” What is it they say about something that sounds too good to be true? It probably is. That was the case with the Romney campaign’s “Project ORCA.”

The idea behind Project ORCA was simple, albeit far too complex in execution. Romney’s Boston headquarters wanted a way to track who had been to the polls in swing states, and who had not. It was the most complicated GOTV (get out the vote) effort in GOP history.

[....]

Starting in the early afternoon, reports were coming in from across swing states that ORCA had crashed. That morning, when Shoshanna [a GOTV volunteer] was on the phone with Boston, she was told the system was crashing, unable to withstand thousands of simultaneous log-ins. The system had never been stress tested and couldn’t handle the crush of traffic all at once. Thousands of man-hours went into designing and implementing a program that was useful on one day and one day only, and on that day, it crashed. My source familiar with the campaign described it this way, “It was a giant [mess] because a political operative sold a broken product with no support or backup plan. Just another arrogant piece of the arrogant Romney campaign.”

(Excerpt) Read more at commentarymagazine.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: fail; orca; partyofstupid; romney
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Maybe before the party of Stupid decides it needs to capitulate to Dems on social issues, fiscal issues, cultural issues, etc., maybe it should start with having an election day plan that has been tested and works.

Read the whole sickening thing.

1 posted on 11/09/2012 3:43:26 PM PST by mojito
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To: mojito

Personally I’ll worry about this kind of stupid stuff after we stop voter fraud.


2 posted on 11/09/2012 3:47:01 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (My faith and politics cannot be separated)
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To: mojito

we have already read it since this is probably the 10th time it has been posted.


3 posted on 11/09/2012 3:52:05 PM PST by Perdogg (Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA4) for President 2016)
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To: mojito

Willie and Orca...

2 whales of failure...


4 posted on 11/09/2012 3:53:14 PM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: mojito

Posted earlier

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2957633/posts


5 posted on 11/09/2012 3:54:31 PM PST by Steelfish (ui)
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To: DJ MacWoW
Voter fraud is never going away.

Dems perfected big city machine politics and voter fraud more than a century ago and they're still going strong.

But the GOP better be able to do better than this. Or they can get used to losing a lot more often.

6 posted on 11/09/2012 3:55:14 PM PST by mojito (Zero, our Nero.)
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To: Perdogg

and I get more inspired each time I see it...

The CEO-in-chief proved to be not such an expert after all...


7 posted on 11/09/2012 3:55:17 PM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: mojito
Monorail!
8 posted on 11/09/2012 3:55:17 PM PST by rabidralph
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To: mojito

We tried the same thing in Wisconsin in 2002 for Gov. McCallum and it didn’t work then either. Then we tried it with Palm Pilots in 2004, and it didn’t work then either.


9 posted on 11/09/2012 3:56:59 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: mojito
Romney’s Boston headquarters

Well, there's your first problem. Come to think about it, it's really the biggest problem - a former NE liberal governor who lost.

10 posted on 11/09/2012 3:57:53 PM PST by kingu (Everything starts with slashing the size and scope of the federal government.)
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To: mojito

I wonder who sold him the software, was it google, Facebook or some other 0bama supporting company.


11 posted on 11/09/2012 3:58:30 PM PST by PMAS (All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing)
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To: mojito
Republicans and Conservatives shouldn't have needed their hand held to get out and vote. That's what's really sad to me. Yeah Obama’s people dragged every loser out from under a rock they could find to vote multiple times but we should be voting out of civic duty, not for freebies. Fight voter fraud first.
12 posted on 11/09/2012 3:59:06 PM PST by MacMattico
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To: mojito

Obama didn’t win any state that hate voter ID laws. We need MORE.


13 posted on 11/09/2012 4:00:43 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (My faith and politics cannot be separated)
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To: scripter

sounds like stuff you deal with all the time!


14 posted on 11/09/2012 4:01:21 PM PST by latina4dubya ( self-proclaimed tequila snob)
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To: mojito
Good Lord. It's only the presidential election, the leader of the free world, most power man on the face of the earth ect...

... and they don't test project Orca to make sure it will work at the critical moment.

If that's not proof that the man would have been the perfect choice for a government job I don't know what is.

15 posted on 11/09/2012 4:01:21 PM PST by Idaho_Cowboy (Ride for the Brand. Joshua 24:15)
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To: mojito
hate HAD. LOL
16 posted on 11/09/2012 4:01:42 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (My faith and politics cannot be separated)
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To: mojito
BS - this wasn't an ORCA problem - this was (first) a massive fraud problem - and (second) a massive failure to vote by many self-proclaimed 'conservatives' that are no such thing.

They've been around for years - and just like usual - all too many find all kinds of reasons to not vote.

17 posted on 11/09/2012 4:01:52 PM PST by Ron C.
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To: DJ MacWoW

Will you stop with the Obama didn’t win any state that has voter ID laws crap? I live in OH and we HAVE voter ID - and obama took Ohio. Probably fraudulently, but he won it just the same. I keep reading this same line on every thread and its not true.


18 posted on 11/09/2012 4:03:57 PM PST by Catsrus (WANT)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
We tried the same thing in Wisconsin in 2002 for Gov. McCallum and it didn’t work then either. Then we tried it with Palm Pilots in 2004, and it didn’t work then either.

It's a great idea, but it should be in development now with testing planned for 2014. Of course, by 2016, technology will have moved on [and that must be accounted for in the design,] but a database is a database.

This sounds like a typical political cluster-you-know-what. The concept, IMHO, is sound.

19 posted on 11/09/2012 4:11:12 PM PST by BfloGuy (Workers and consumers are, of course, identical.)
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To: Perdogg

OK, now I get what this is about.

Feel free to rag on the messenger.


20 posted on 11/09/2012 4:11:12 PM PST by Randy Larsen (Aim small, Miss small.)
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To: Tennessee Nana

LOL!!! ‘Whale FAIL’.


21 posted on 11/09/2012 4:13:12 PM PST by RushIsMyTeddyBear (Great vid by ShorelineMike! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOZjJk6nbD4&feature=plcp)
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To: Catsrus
If your aim was "rude", you succeeded.

FUN FACT: Obama Lost in Every State with a Voter Photo-ID Law

What Luck! Obama Won Dozens of Cleveland Districts with 100% of the Vote

Good News: Obama Won County in Ohio with 108% Voter Registration

Colorado Counties Have More Voters Than People

Obama Got Over 99% of Vote Where Inspectors were Removed; Turnout Somehow "30%" Above Gov't Numbers

22 posted on 11/09/2012 4:13:12 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (My faith and politics cannot be separated)
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To: mojito
Just another arrogant piece of the arrogant Romney campaign

LOL, a computer crash is caused by arrogance? Talk about a non-sequitor. This guy is probably an Obama voter. I've never seen anything as arrogant as the Obama campaign as was easily seen in the last 2 presidential debates and the VP debate and in the low brow, low class tenor of Obama's "trash Romney at all cost" tactics. Anyone calling Romney's campaign arrogant with Obama being the most arrogant person on earth was clearly never with the Romney campaign to begin with. Probably a mole.

23 posted on 11/09/2012 4:19:19 PM PST by MissesBush (The Fourth Estate has Become a Fifth Column)
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To: mojito

As a neutral observer from the Uk, I am tired of republicans complaining about unfair electoral practices. Everyone knows that as in 2004,2008,2012 and in 2016, there will be massive voter fraud, massive media bias and union driven impressive ground game.. Stop complaining and do something about it. If you can’t beat them join them. Nice guys don’t win. The Romney team should have anticipated hacking and had a plan B IMHO. It should be up to the RNC and not individual candidates to research and set up GOTV procedures.


24 posted on 11/09/2012 4:24:29 PM PST by maximuss
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To: DJ MacWoW

Good links. Thank you.


25 posted on 11/09/2012 4:32:07 PM PST by MSF BU (n)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Regular old fashioned knocking on doors and phone banks are the way to go...

no technology needed...

a printout of voters can be got from the election commision...


26 posted on 11/09/2012 4:34:28 PM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: MSF BU

You’re welcome. :-)


27 posted on 11/09/2012 4:35:10 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (My faith and politics cannot be separated)
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To: Idaho_Cowboy

They had 30,000 eager volunteers sitting around ALL DAY with nothing to do...

what I would have done with that crowd...

doors to knock on...

phone banks and folks to call...

30,000 eagar beavers ???

with nothing to do ???

REALLY ???


28 posted on 11/09/2012 4:40:37 PM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: Tennessee Nana

That’s what we did in my county in Florida. We delivered the goods.


29 posted on 11/09/2012 4:42:01 PM PST by marygam (I have extra ducktape for anyone who needs to wrap their head.)
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To: MissesBush

Willard was just an arrogent wuss...

he should have left off admiring his faded matinee idol “looks” in his mirror and got out and beat the bushes for voters like any one else...

But NOOOOOO Willard was too speshul too entitled...

and too durn big for his magik britches...


30 posted on 11/09/2012 4:44:34 PM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: RushIsMyTeddyBear

Whale fail
________________________________

Yeah this time Capn Ahab got Moby Dick...

:)


31 posted on 11/09/2012 4:48:08 PM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: mojito

After the amount of time I and many others spent working on the Romney campaign (while holding my nose), this makes me sick to my stomach.


32 posted on 11/09/2012 4:48:23 PM PST by Wisconsinlady ("When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty." Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Tennessee Nana

Yeah, the phrase ‘improvise adapt and overcome’ comes to mind.


33 posted on 11/09/2012 4:53:46 PM PST by Idaho_Cowboy (Ride for the Brand. Joshua 24:15)
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To: Idaho_Cowboy

Campaign managers dream...


34 posted on 11/09/2012 4:55:58 PM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: mojito

I thought Chris Christie’s embrace of Obama was Project Orca.


35 posted on 11/09/2012 4:56:23 PM PST by Atticus
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To: Idaho_Cowboy

Campaign managers dream...


36 posted on 11/09/2012 4:56:55 PM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: mojito
Romney’s Boston headquarters wanted a way to track who had been to the polls in swing states, and who had not...back in the day we always got a call from the local GOP reminding us to go vote - whether we had already voted or not - nothing wrong with that approach - I worked the polls one November trying to track who had voted and who hadn't so those who hadn't could be contacted - it soon became a hopelss task - simply making sure all registered Republicans receive at least one call on election day would seem to the most direct and efficient way for GOYV.....
37 posted on 11/09/2012 4:58:13 PM PST by Intolerant in NJ
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To: Tennessee Nana
As a systems person who runs and tests systems and who has been a developer as well, I really think conceptually this was flawed, as well as the testing and implementation.

First, higher tech does not always mean better. To me, a smart phone is a really poor input device for most people.

I had a similar issue years ago, my employer had a light pen for media buyers to select dayparts on a screen, and as the system was on just one PC, it was a bottleneck and the light pen was a pain. I reprogrammed the process to produce paper reports that could be passed out, filled out and returned, and I entered in the results, far faster than they could, and they spent more of their time doing their real jobs.

A better idea would be to have scannable paper lists where a bubble is marked when a voter shows up - and have enough copies for them to be picked up hourly. Runners could pick them up, and you would have distributed points where someone is in a car with a laptop, a scanner and wifi. Easy to fill out, and if one car's laptop or scanner fails, run to the nearest one after that. Security is also improved this way - the campaign would control the access points. In the end, IMO this would have produced more speed of remote info than ORCA, and far better reliability.

Second, there were so many basic systems mistakes here it makes me wonder if the people running this had any experience actually managing systems. It was insane to think that they could give people access the day of the election and everyone would automatically master the interface within ten minutes.

A better plan would be to have a beta site and have a Saturday where everyone could log in and do a dry run. First, you would be sure their COULD access it. Second, it would make them familiar with the interface before the election. And third, it would provide close to real-world load testing.

Third, this was top-down. I would imagine you had some know-it-all MBA hotshot running this who had conference calls with suck-ups, none of whom had the balls to ask what the **** is going on with this crazy implementation plan. Someone who has no understanding of the **** happens factor, which is always there. I once had an MBA berate me about preaching that **** happens, and asked me to give him an example in his project plan of such happening. I told him that if I could do that, it wouldn't be **** happens and it would be in the project plan. Sure enough, it came in late and over budget because of unexpected problems. Seasoned pros with some humility use planning, testing, time and budget cushions, more testing, user acceptance, more testing and them rollouts rife with contingencies to deal with the inevitable problems that come up.

The real problem with ORCA was that they didn't even spot the obvious problems in their plan that anyone with two years of experience with running systems could tell them were coming at them like a freight train. But, then again, this is coming from the same bunch who thinks RINOs make the best presidential candidates, despite decades of evidence to the contrary.

38 posted on 11/09/2012 5:15:21 PM PST by dirtboy
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To: maximuss

Aren’t you supposed to be busy voting for the Queen? I’d have thought that gave you enough to do. How’d the GOTV for the Royals go last time around?


39 posted on 11/09/2012 5:15:41 PM PST by Houghton M.
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To: Intolerant in NJ
Yours is the first comment on all the threads I have seen who has pointed out the obvious. As I understand it (and I have over 25 years computer experience), the entire purpose of the Orca project was to capture, using the 34,000 volunteer pollwatchers, the names and voter IDs of people who had actually come in to vote. Why do that? So that you can call every who hasn't come in to vote yet to remind them to get out there and vote. But with computer-generated phone calls, it takes no more human time to call 2,000,000 then 1,000,000 voters, it just costs more. So if there were a communications failure or computer problem or whatever, the worst thing that should happen is that -- lacking election day information -- you just call everyone just in case.

So I don't understand all the end-of-the world stuff about how we would have won if only the system had worked perfectly. Just call everyone that you don't have confirmation has voted. In fact, there can never be a perfect system, because as several people have pointed out on other threads, pollwatchers must sit where they are told which may be just too far to hear every name, or people speak too softly to be heard, or there are too many at once in a large precinct. AND where we live in West Virginia, it is impossible to have pollwatchers under state election law (the only state of 50 where this is true because of Democrat one-party rule).

So if Orca is the Beached Whale project, the GOTV calls just go out to more people anyway, right?

I am absolutely not defending the technical people involved nor agreeing it was designed well or should even have been nationally centralized, but thinking that had it worked as well as possible, it would merely change the number of outgoing GOTV computer-generated calls; unless someone explains what else would be the point.

40 posted on 11/09/2012 5:22:23 PM PST by wildandcrazyrussian
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To: dirtboy

Yeah well I was a computer programmer in the military and when I was overseas they would send us new programs from the states that were usually having to be queeked bfore they could work in our system...

and that was 35 years ago...

does *** still happen of course as you said...

My question would have to be How could such “expert” CEO types like Willard and his cronies not TEST the stupid new soft ware to make sure it would actually WORK ???


41 posted on 11/09/2012 5:24:10 PM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: mojito; BuckeyeTexan

JESUS H. CHRIST

As part of the project I am planning, I have investigated AUTOMATED STRESS TESTERS.

You don’t even need to have live humans. You can simulate 10,000 artificial users with each copy of the program running on a different server. HOW HARD IS IT TO BUY A TESTING PROGRAM??!?!?


42 posted on 11/09/2012 5:28:54 PM PST by Lazamataz
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To: Tennessee Nana
Well, the financial meltdown happened largely because of the prevailing sentiment that systemic risk was a thing of the past, so bad decision upon bad decision was never reconsidered as to the potential for negative feedback to wreak havoc.

And that is basically what happened here.

43 posted on 11/09/2012 5:31:29 PM PST by dirtboy
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To: Lazamataz
Well, Laz, that is the crazy thing here.

They could have had a real-world stress test AND a full-scale beta test AND a user acceptance test by just allowing their thousands of carefully-vetted volunteers to bang on the app some Saturday several weeks before the election.

Instead, someone who apparently has no real-world systems implementation experience lived in a dreamworld that you switch on access the day you need the system to work - and the only day that the system can do anything for you - and despite years of accumulated experience to the contrary, it can be expected to deliver.

Not.

44 posted on 11/09/2012 5:36:17 PM PST by dirtboy
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To: mojito

Bet they outsourced the coding to India.


45 posted on 11/09/2012 5:37:52 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

I doubt coding was the problem here. Something this screwed-up requires really, really bad managers.


46 posted on 11/09/2012 5:41:11 PM PST by dirtboy
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To: mojito

RINO File.


47 posted on 11/09/2012 7:55:14 PM PST by Graewoulf ((Traitor John Roberts' Obama"care" violates Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND the U.S. Constitution.))
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To: mojito

Be prepared to hear all about lots of “voters staying home”...the GOTV effort was f’d up.....Orca was flawed etc...the Bipartisan Oligarchy would rather we all stew in that mess..than having us all bothered, and deciding to investigate, about all the voters voting who never voted...

Listening to descriptions of how “Democrats got out their ground game” with “superior ability to bring those to the polls who normally would never go” by the commentators on Fox election night..made me realize..what they actually have done is track names that HAVE NOT VOTED IN MANY, MANY elections cycles....and vote them.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/10/23/No-Car-Finds-2-214-Registered-Voters-110-Years-of-Age-Older

A well-funded project, county-by-county..to examine the names signed in at at the polls..and going out to find those individuals..you’ll find they were never physically at he polls..or they themselves never filled out the absentee ballot....or their names in the death registers.


48 posted on 11/09/2012 8:02:38 PM PST by mo (If you understand, no explanation is needed. If you don't understand, no explanation is possible.)
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To: wildandcrazyrussian
Just call everyone that you don't have confirmation has voted...exactly - this seems like so much technological overkill - in fact you really don't need confirmation one way or the other - in our case it was the local town Republican Party which made the calls, in person as I remember it. If you hadn't voted you got a sort of personalized urging to get going, and if you had, a polite thank you. I never minded getting the reminder call even if I had already gone to the polls, and if I had minded, so what - they already had my vote.

In a way I am encouraged to hear this info about ORCA - it's one of maybe several missig links - after hearing about all the enthusiasm of Republicans going into election day, and the party identification advantage they had, it's been mystifying as to why the 'pub turnout was as low as it seems - it looks as though the 'rats had their usual GOTV A Game while the GOP had virtually none at all. As John Fund noted in talking about this fiasco on Fox tonight, one of the first things the Party should do in getting ready for 2014 is fire a bunch of the useless hangers-on consultants who've been bringing on embarrassments like this for years.......

49 posted on 11/09/2012 9:17:33 PM PST by Intolerant in NJ
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To: Catsrus
To: DJ MacWoW
Will you stop with the Obama didn’t win any state that has voter ID laws crap? I live in OH and we HAVE voter ID - and obama took Ohio.

She is a Birther, so don't expect something like facts keep her from posting fantasy.

50 posted on 11/09/2012 9:48:09 PM PST by Pilsner
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