Thar She Blows!… Orca Blew Up on Election Day

Now we know… The GOP’s numbers were down this year because the party’s get-out-the-vote system shut down on Tuesday.
So the GOP’s GOT system Orca blew up on Election Day.
It went something like this—

Breitbart reported:

A source within the Romney campaign agreed to share his reflections on Project Orca with Breitbart News:

It’s easy to point fingers after a loss and I wouldn’t normally do it, but consider what happened.

Project Orca was supposed to enable poll watchers to record voter names on their smartphones, by listening for names as voters checked in. This would give the campaign real-time turnout data, so they could redirect GOTV resources throughout the day where it was most needed. They recruited 37,000 swing state volunteers for this.

I worked on the Colorado team, and we were called by hundreds (or more) volunteers who couldn’t use the app or the backup phone system. The usernames and passwords were wrong, but the reset password tool didn’t work, and we couldn’t change phone PINs. We were told the problems were limited and asked to project confidence, have people use pencil and paper, and try to submit again later.

Then at 6PM they admitted they had issued the wrong PINs to every volunteer in Colorado, and reissued new PINs (which also didn’t work). Meanwhile, counties where we had hundreds of volunteers, such as Denver Colorado, showed zero volunteers in the system all day, but we weren’t allowed to add them. In one area, the head of the Republican Party plus 10 volunteers were all locked out. The system went down for a half hour during peak voting, but for hundreds or more, it never worked all day. Many of the poll watchers I spoke with were very discouraged. Many members of our phone bank got up and left.

I do not know if the system was totally broken, or if I just saw the worst of it. But I wonder, because they told us all day that most volunteers were submitting just fine, yet admitted at the end that all of Colorado had the wrong PIN’s. They also said the system projected every swing state as pink or red.

Regardless of the specific difficulties, this idea would only help if executed extremely well. Otherwise, those 37,000 swing state volunteers should have been working on GOTV…

And, there you have it.
The GOP’s Get-Out-The-Vote system broke down on Election Day.
What complete incompetence.

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  • Freddy

    OK, so instead of phone lines, and people, in a hdqtrs they tried to tie things together directly. When the tech failed, they needed a plan B. I wonder who was in charge of that plan?

  • Pingback: Thar She Blows!… Orca Blew Up on Election Day | PolitifreakPolitifreak()

  • JenBee

    … and if they’re as frustrated and disgusted as I am, they won’t be showing up in 2016 to volunteer again. In fact, I’m thinking of totally pulling myself out of the political system and never voting again. The damage after four more years will absolutely be unrepairable — there is no way America will look like anything I’ll recognize now. Doesn’t matter who gets it in 2016, D or R.

  • Patty

    You can blame it on the Tea party. They really weren’t out in the public as much. 2010 was bigger and better.

    We have work to do because in 2014 we need to hold those in and vote more into the Senate and Congress.



  • Patty

    Stop lallygagging, march to a different drummer without giving up honor and the Constitution. TRUTH AND HONESTY WILL BE IDEAL BUT YOU MUST REMEMBER, NO SCANDALS, NO EXTRA MARTIAL ACTIVITIES, NO CHEATING ON TAXES.

    Don’t give the opponent any ammunition.

    Please above all DON’T EAT A DOG.

  • Patty


    Airport screeners ratify first-ever union contract with TSA

    Oh, less not forget the Unions are more excited then a kid on Christmas eve.

  • American Woman

    Sorry, but if you think the RINOS in the Republican Party are not capable of sabotaging the Romney campaign, you need to grow up. We saw what they did to Sarah Palin and McCain last time.

    This was done by someone, who has access to the system, and it was done to profit Obama.

  • dwd

    This is the perfect metaphor to argue against big government.

    Romney took decentralized, local get-out-the-vote and consolidated and centralized it into one big beast that controlled everything from one location.


  • Buzzy

    Anyone who needed a call on election day to remind them to get out and vote wasn’t likely to go and vote anyway. If you are waiting until election day to get your voters to turn out you’ve already lost the election.

  • xqqme

    The narrative was too strong to overcome. The voters believed that Obama inherited a mess, had ‘fixed’ the economy and saved us from the brink of another Depression. They were told that every day. They had no reason to change horses midstream.
    Of course, the inevitable consequences of job layoffs are already in the works. (Oct announcements up 41%) and the hits just keep on rolling. But Obama will blame all this on the Republicans for not cooperating on the ‘fiscal cliff’ and never take responsibility for this disaster.
    We’ve had a mixed economy since the New Deal and have ‘compromised’ ourselves out. Just because the ‘Progressives’ plan to raise taxes doesn’t mean they’ll have more revenue. The Socialist will find they’ve ‘run out of other peoples’ money’.

  • Patty

    Oh, yes and work really hard in Ohio and Florida. Some of those states with the Most Hispanic wouldn’t hurt either.

  • Patty


    Surviving the for the Best Preparing for the Worst

  • SM-WI

    We need to study and replicate and improve on the Dem’s stratagy to target/identify new voters, get them registered and then turn them out. We all laughed at Barry–community organizer getting elected in 2008. But, we now see that Barry and his union goons have outmaneuvered us big time. They focused on the battle ground states. We could have beat them. And, about volunteering for the Romney victory centers, the RNC/gopac needs to develop stratagy/methods for us volunteers to start working soon for 2016. That’s what Barry & co did. After winning 2008, they left their centers in the battleground states and they identified their targets, got them registered as new voters and made sure they turned out Tuesday. We can do this!

  • Patty

    Read more of this here:

    You have somehow convinced the Obama Youth any fact that is “divisive” (I love that word) is not worth knowing. If someone points out a failure, you blame the previous administration, and 50% of the voters blindly agree. You made politics about pop culture and fashion, and now the Dumb Community worships you. You’ve convinced the nation that begot “Don’t Tread on Me” that it needs a government that “cares about them.” Amazing. You’ve turned them into dependent infants.

    I haven’t seen propaganda this effective since Roosevelt. He managed to convince post-Depression America that it was the government’s job to make things right. Roosevelt instilled in the lower classes a permanent reliance on government that persists today and will go well past the Second Civil War of 2030.

    Fox News appears to be the only one asking questions, but only old people are watching and they will all die shortly. Old people ask too many questions.

    This is why I killed Andrew Breitbart. I had seen him pollute the populace like a virus. The most important part of good propaganda is not caring about the truth. I am still worried about this group who call themselves libertarians. Like Andrew, they seem open to debate and have no allegiance to anyone. Though they scoffed at your National Socialism, they also objected to your opponent’s foreign policy and the prohibition of drugs. This is dangerous because where there is loyalty to truth, there is no loyalty to leaders. However, I think it’s this lack of loyalty to one group that will be the libertarians’ downfall.

    Your acceptance speech reminded me of all my hard work and I felt proud. After the Depression and before the war, I told a room full of fans, “This nation will again start making history.” Imagine the joy I felt when, 80 years later, I heard you say, “We have fought our way back and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come.”

    The masses are dumb, uneducated fools who can’t think for themselves. They need the government to solve their problems. They need a fascist dictatorship where one great leader chooses who will run the economy.

    You are the black eagle on my coat of arms and the only negative thing I could possibly say is that you make me feel slightly inferior. On that note, I am off to kill my family. Watch out for those libertarians and keep up the good fight. Auf Wiedersehen und Gute Nacht!

    —Dr. Joseph Goebbels

  • American Woman

    One more thing, millions were shelled out for the Romney campaign, and his handlers came up with this kind of mistake on election day.

    Why? Were there no professionals monitoring the technology? No one in place to stop the sabotage of the system?

    The whole thing stinks. From the “misreading” of the polls, to the lack of a powerful rebuttal of all that Obama has done and all he represents, and finally to a sophomoric ground plan on election day, when they had to know the DNC plays Chicago gutter politics.

    Oh, let’s not forget the trotting out of Carl Rove and Dick Cheney as representatives of Romney’s campaign. (That really pulled in new votes, right?)

    This was a campaign run my some slick losers, who I’m sure took the Romney campaign for big bucks to repay them for their has-been, never-was expertise.

  • Would someone get me some whiskey, please?

  • donh

    It was intentional sabotogue….He hired McCain’s old crew which is infested with stealth homosexuals in corporate suits looking to back stab our nominee with bad consulting, bad PR work, telling him not to attack here, not to respond there, telling him not to talk about this issue and that issue….pulling the plug on his robocalls machines… WE fail and the gay marriage agenda on the other side of the aisle marches forward….Then the staff blames the loss on those old white bigoted homophobe pro life christians. …AND THE PARTY NEVER LEARNS . Rinse and repeat.

  • Blacque Jacques Shellacque

    A question: Didn’t they do a test run before the Big Show?

  • bg
  • Pat262

    I talked to a distressed Romney volunteer in Cuyahoga county. He confirmed that Orca was a flop. Lots of people on other web sites confirm Orca was a cluster-f**k, What is unbelievable is that they went live with a national web based system that hadn’t been exhaustively tested and stress tested. I’m in the business of building corporate web-sites, and we have more people in our testing team than our development team. It’s tough to do in a big company, let alone on a national scale. Volunteers didn’t receive their instructions until the night before the election in the form of a huge PDF file. Instructions were wrong, PINs didn’t work and fundamental problems ignored. The system relied on volunteers entering the names of voters into a web based application using a smart phone. What could go wrong? Smart phones have cameras. Cameras aren’t allowed inside polling sites in many states.

    So, Mr Super Smart businessman goes with an untested system on the most important day on his life, while Mr Socialist goes with systems campaign pros have developed over multiple election cycles. I am bitterly disappointed Obama won but it is sad that Romney went with a single solution imposed from above rather than working on a bottom-up approach that relied on local knowledge.

  • Pat262

    #4 Tea Party Patriots worked hard to get the vote out in Ohio. Individuals volunteered on the campaign as poll watchers, drivers and so on. But, if you don’t know who you need to get out because the system crashed or didn’t work, then you lose thousands of votes.

    Meanwhile, the Obama gang can make certain military votes go astray:

  • Pingback: Thar She Blows!… Orca Blew Up on Election Day | Born Conservative()

  • Flintstone F.

    Pat262 is satire.

  • bg


    wow, not since 1970 huh..

    guess it’ll be at least another 42
    before we regain and maintain..

    that’s if we’re not all living in sin
    and bowing to Mecca by then..


  • ★FALCON★

    I got nine calls over the last three months and one on election day, it was after I had voted – I was there early.

    But I think it was Patty (if not forgive me) who said that Establishment GOP would sabotage Romney – of-course they would – they’re thrilled to be in the minority for forty years and invited to the butt kissing events in D.C.

    The GOP establishment is the problem. It’s not the TEA Party nor the base – it’s the RINOs / The Democrat slot was taken so I’ll run as a RINO.

    I.E. – Bloomberg, Christie, Anything named Bush, Rove, Giuliani, Whitman, et. al.

    There are two paths – cut off the financial funding for Obama – or have the revolution we have been patiently waiting for.

  • Steve

    VERY INTERESTING. 2 Separate Maps of County by County vote and vote trends in the 2012 Presidential Election…

  • bg


    Patty #4 November 9, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    i’m blaming the TROOPS_ DISFRANCHISEMENT

    Obama knew they would do him in, ergo, he moved
    heaven and Petreaus to accomplish the dirty task..


  • Monkey Wrench


    You might find this interesting. It is a list of all the states on a scale from most Democratic to most Republican. I was surprised to see that Hawaii is the most Democratic state. Utah is the most Republican, which wasn’t a real surprise.

  • BetseyRoss

    The people that stayed home didn’t forget to vote. They did it willfully. The day before the election we got 10 calls from various Republicans. Some famous, others just plain folks. The day of the election we had five more on our answering machine because we were gone all day because we were poll workers. Our precinct went 2-1 for Romney. The whole county was about the same. Our people came out, but apparently other places they didn’t.

    I don’t think Orca’s failure had anything to do with Romney’s loss. However, I am beginning to think there was massive voter fraud on the level we’ve never seen before and there isn’t a [email protected] thing we can do about it.

  • bg


    Flintstone F. #23 – page 1 November 9, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    now you tell me/us.. 😆

    eh, doesn’t matter, it’s closer to the truth than not, just check
    out all the other links at #50 & #52, they more or less back it
    up, and they don’t come close to being satirical..


  • Granny

    #1 November 9, 2012 at 5:45 pm
    Freddy commented:

    OK, so instead of phone lines, and people, in a hdqtrs they tried to tie things together directly. When the tech failed, they needed a plan B. I wonder who was in charge of that plan?

    Read something about this earlier from a techie – apparently the system was not beta’d and nobody had been trained to use it. Wonder whose brilliant idea THAT was . .

  • dba_vagabond_trader

    Why do Rs have so much trouble with technology? We need some new younger blood, people who can keep up, ya know?

  • Lone Ranger

    Well Tonto,
    Seems Gateway commenters have it all figured out and well in hand…..
    Let’s go big fellow. Hi-Yo Silver… Awaaaaay!!

  • bg


    Steve #26 November 9, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    interesting, ironically most of the larger margin areas where in states
    Sandy devastated, wonder how all those people made it to polls that
    weren’t there??

    yes, i know i said they probably already voted for all those people
    affected already, that’s why the rescue attempts have been, and
    still are, worse than they were after Katrina..

    but was half jesting when i posted the following
    as the reason, now i’m not all that sure.. *sigh*



  • bg


    strange.. Hamas and Hezbollah had no
    problems with PIN numbers, no no no..


  • bg


    re: #35 November 9, 2012 at 7:50 pm bg

    of course they were the Obama phones
    all the Marx kids are screaming about..


  • Monkey Wrench

    I build and work on big systems for major corporations, so this interests me. From what I’ve read it sounds like the problem wasn’t so much the system itself as the people who used it, especially the people who were in charge.

    I’ve read several complaints about bad pins being given out to end users so they couldn’t login and access the system. Also the access was secure https, which is normal, but people who forgot and typed in http (forgot the s) were not redirected to the secure link and simply received a blank page. So little things like these caused problems for the end users at the polls.

    I saw one report that the system was unable to handle the volume of traffic on election day. Someone said there was 1,200 records being added per minute. That is a lot, and if the guys who built it had not worked on something with this kind of volume before, I can see how things went wrong. And once the system starts failing from too much volume, it is almost impossible to recover in time.

    With all the money they had I’m surprised they didn’t just hire some pros like IBM who could build this so it could scale up to handle whatever was thrown at it. Any amateur with some technical smarts can build a website. But building a website that can handle tens of thousands of simultaneous users requires experienced professionals.

  • Sasja

    Approximately 3 million republicans did not show up to vote Tuesday. A guy called Rush the other day about why he elected to not vote and this is not the first time he has sat out an election. Of course we cannot speak for the other 2,999,999 others but this guy’s reason was immature, selfish and just downright sophomoric. So I wish a pox on his house.

    Now we look to 2014 and I would suggest everyone start beating the bushes now to find as close to an ideal candidate you can and perhaps, just perhaps, we can rid ourselves of some of the RINOs and dems.

  • FurryGuy

    Gee, Team Romney tries a centralized, one size fits all, big government style approach and it fails.

    Keep doing the same failed approach and expecting different results, yeah right.

  • FurryGuy

    #32 November 9, 2012 at 7:31 pm
    dba_vagabond_trader commented:

    Why do Rs have so much trouble with technology? We need some new younger blood, people who can keep up, ya know?

    There actually are “young blood” people in the party, quite tech savvy, they just keep getting shoved aside and ignored by the Party Elites currently in charge; geriatric dodderers who “know” traditional media is still dominant, moderation is what wins.

  • Sally

    This source is comprehensive about the disaster, Orca

    At least we know now what happened. According to pat Cadell the democrats tested their get out the vote system for 2 weekends in advance of the election.

    This wasn’t tested at all.

    It does make you wonder if Romney/Ryan were double crossed or whether they were just not organized enough to question/demand proof of effectiveness of the system in advance of its implementation.

  • Gah.

    How many times did I say “Romney doesn’t want to win. Romney is the anti-Butch from Pulp Fiction. Romney is, like McCain before him, pretending to run for president.”


    Taqiyyotomist has pretty much given up on commenting — what’s the use?

  • Gah.

    The f&*k’s the use?

  • Gah.

    Said it for f*&kin’ six years, about McCain (the Rino that Bush beat, that had to run since the idiot “Architect” Karl Rove had no succession plan in place for Bush), and about Romney (the guy that the guy that Bush beat… beat because the non-functioning, spineless, co-opted, infiltrated, cowardly GOP said he was next.)

    Six years. I could scream it off a mountain. This has been one heck of a show put on for our, um, benefit this last decade or so.

    Long Marches are long. Too bad Americans’ attention spans are gnat-like.

  • Sandy

    Orca schmorca — I watched as pollsters all said exactly the same thing a couple of days before the election after no poll showed Obama at 50%. Who had the best reason to cheat, the one with the Idealogy — as Obama said after the election The Best Is Yet to Come. We have been snookered but lets not blame our side for letting it happen.

  • Sandy

    Rip us off and tie it in a bow — BS

  • shadow

    What complete incompetence.

    And you thought, Wow! What a perfect group to run the country.

  • denise

    I’m sorry. We shouldn’t need someone calling us to go vote! The problem is NOT with ORCA. The problem is with the complacent American people. The complicit press allowed many stories to go unreported and many stories to be spun, portraying whatever meme they wanted. We the people are not doing our job of due diligence and responsible citizenship. I fear we are too far gone.

  • Amjean

    Oh please! How stupid are we to fall for this crapola?

    Romney lost because of 2 things:

    1. massive voter fraud
    2. too many citizens were afraid they were going to lose their free stuff from the gov.

  • AmericaWILL

    Was it incompetence or was it subterfuge by O? Really wouldn’t surprise me to find he’d paid off some programmer.

  • Darwin Akbar

    My wife volunteered to be an Orca poll watcher in Florida but never reveived her poll watch package. Another example of incompetence.

  • nomobama

    Voter fraud… pure and simple. The numbers did not add up in so many different ways. Two thirds of Americans wanted Obamacare repealed. You think those voters stayed home or voted for Obama? NO WAY! Mitt Romney performed better than McCain did in 2008 while Obama performed worse. This was a high interest election, but somehow there were fewer voters by the millions? NO WAY. Get rid of these electronic voting machines that can be programmed to steal elections, and stop blaming the American voters who showed up only to have their votes either flipped to the opposing candidate or disappeared into the ether. Demand transparency in the voting process from start to finish.