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REPORT: OBAMA NATIONAL TRACKBACK DATABASE HAS COLLAPSED

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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 11:14 AM
Original message
REPORT: OBAMA NATIONAL TRACKBACK DATABASE HAS COLLAPSED
I just got this word from the coordinated campaign office in Washington State:

The "Houdini System" - the national automated system being used by the Obama campaign (not sure in how many places or everywhere) to manage GOTV track backs crashed overnight. I am being told they do not expect the system to be back up by end of day.

Here in King County, more than 300 poll watchers have been trained this last week to watch polling places and call data back into the Houdini system. Thousands more volunteers are on standby to call and doorbell outstanding voters. Most of these poll watchers failed to receive their assignments and data sheets overnight. Many have still not been told where to report at this time (8AM Pacific, 1 hr after poll opening).

It looks like no track backs will be used in King County today for GOTV.

Does anyone else have any information on this? It sounds like this was a nationwide collapse of the system. I hope this won't impact Ohio, Florida, etc. in a severe way, if they use Houdini.

I'm trying to learn more and will post if I do.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
1. Do you have a link to anything? n/t
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. Sorry,
I was told this by an employee at the Gregoire/coordinated campaign office in Seattle. I can confirm that poll watchers in Seattle have not recieved assignments and data. Beyond that, this is second hand information.
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Cosmic Charlie Donating Member (684 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
2. was it hacked?!?
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #2
9. Gee, YA THINK??????
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
3. Google Documents
Offers spreadsheets that can be collaborated upon.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. That's a very good idea. Not the most secure, but if they limit access to only a handful of users...
... and don't tell anyone they're doing it, they should get through the rest of the day without a major cyber-incident.
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. They can't replace a system
involving so many thousands of people and locations like that on a dime.

If this stays down everyone will just have to wing it.

For what it's worth, I was told on Sunday that the system had been tested recently with heavy loads in an attempt to break it, and that it had passed with flying colors.
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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
4. K&R for voter suppression file. May just be a coincidental crash.
But just in case, let's tag the story for review later. COuld have been hacked. Hope an IT expert can trace the problems to their source.
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Hope And Change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
5. According to this OP it seems to be working...
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. That was the plan
Edited on Tue Nov-04-08 11:28 AM by Truth2Tell
It doesn't seem to be working this AM however.
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nuncvendetta Donating Member (131 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
11. does the campaign have a Plan B?
or are you suggesting that the GOTV operation will collapse today???
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. It's just the system for REPORTING BACK on the GOTV program.
Edited on Tue Nov-04-08 11:36 AM by IanDB1
Not the end of the world.

Don't forget, Obama is a Community Organizer.

I am sure he knows how to handle this.
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Exactly.
It does make the process much less efficient, but Obama has so many volunteers working today that we can likely just power through it and contact everyone anyway. At least I hope so.

It's still a major snafu, considering all the training, etc.. and all the volunteers sitting around this morning with no information and no plan... but not the end of the world by any means.
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. I don't know.
I think plan B is simply to contact voters without the benefit of the track back data. But I really don't know.

Maybe another DUer in a battleground state can report on whether the system is up and running elsewhere?
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windbreeze Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
15. So now what did I hear about Nevada yesterday?
all sorts of stuff reported...and then the top guy in Obama's organization in Nevada, died of a massive heart attack, at the age of 44????...now his whole track back system has failed nationwide????? Maybe someone had better start keeping track of all these funny little incidences...because I, for one, put nothing past anyone in the opposition camp...the only thing I could suggest is for everyone to get a pencil and paper, and make physical notes...that can later be entered into the system....wb
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Tesibria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
16. Other reports say that system was working - this is odd
I can't find the link now, but read on other blogs how the "callback" system WAS working this morning.
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. All I can say is that this is what I was told.
The information could be wrong. I posted it here to see if anyone could provide more information - confirm or debunk.
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
18. I was just told by the woman who answered the phone
Edited on Tue Nov-04-08 12:02 PM by Truth2Tell
at the Obama office in Seattle that the system is still down.

She didn't know if it was just local or nationwide.

Edit to add: this is a different person at a different office than my initial report. Official campaign spokespeople appear to be impossible to reach this AM (at least for a nobody like me, and at least here in Seattle)
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Hope And Change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
19. This may clear up some things.Read this article...
November 04, 2008
Categories: Barack Obama

Houdini


Crowley reports that the Obama campaign is, or was, having trouble with its "Houdini," the computer system by which lawyers and staffers in the field text codes back to headquarters to tally every single voter who has voted.

The campaign says they're working around it, but it's no small thing. The Houdini isn't just a forkeeping headquarters informed of what's going on in the field. A high-tech version of traditional methods of doing the same thing, it allows volunteers, in the last few hours of the day, reach out to the Obama supporters who haven't been recorded as voting, and take another shot at bringing them to the polling sites.

If you're an Obama staffer in the field, let me know how it's going.

UPDATE: A senior Obama aide in a key state says this is "NOT" a big problem today.

UPDATE: A Virginia Obama field guy emails:

Problems early on, but local staff have been working around it by sending runners from campaign offices to precincts to pick up data sheets. In the end, this was probably preferable because it's way quicker to get a low level staffer on a wifi connection at a local hq to punch these in as opposed to on site volunteers with frigid fingers. Plus, we can focus on protecting votes and making sure things run smoothly.

And this from a New Mexico field gal:

Yes, it is not working, but it has not caused any trouble. We have quickly worked around it. Although, we are not getting the data in as quickly and "real time" as we had hoped, the data is being recorded and for my office, covering precincts, there are over 200 volunteer canvassers getting out the vote.

Emails another New Mexico Obamaite: "We're clearing voters and very focused on who's left. This is the the best thing we've ever seen in the field."

That is to say: The part of the system accepting text messages seems not to be working. The rest is.



By Ben Smith 03:39 PM


http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1108/Houdini.html#comments
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-04-08 05:02 PM
Response to Original message
20. FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!
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