ORCA (computer system)
ORCA was a mobile-optimized web application used as a component of the ""get out the vote"" (GOTV) efforts for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign. It was intended to enable volunteers in polling stations around the country to report which voters had turned out, so that ""missing"" Republican voters and underperforming precincts could be targeted for last-minute efforts to get voters to the polls. According to Romney himself, it would provide an ""unprecedented advantage"" to the campaign to ""ensure that every last supporter makes it to the polls.""The system had major technical problems during Election Day that prevented many volunteers from using it. It crashed periodically and at one point was intentionally taken down when a surge of traffic from campaign volunteers was misinterpreted as a denial of service attack. Frustrated volunteers reported being unable to access ORCA and criticised a lack of prior briefing, misleading instructions and patchy on-the-day support. A Romney aide commented that ""Orca is lying on the beach with a harpoon in it."" The system's failings have been attributed by technology writers to a combination of factors including not doing prior quality assurance or beta testing, inadequate documentation and poor design.The Romney campaign subsequently defended ORCA as a success, though campaign officials admitted that the system ""had its challenges"". Conservative activists and writers blamed ORCA for depressing Republican turnout on election day. While political scientists have rebutted these claims, suggested that it probably did not have a decisive effect on the outcome, it may have negatively affected turnout figures. ORCA has been compared unfavorably with a ""get out the vote"" and data effort from President Obama, including Project Narwhal, seen as more robust.