DNC throws out virtual caucuses in Iowa

DNC throws out virtual caucuses in Iowa

The Iowa caucuses, the first of next year's primary elections, has always been regarded as a key state to propel a candidate to the party's nomination.

Iowa and Nevada's Democratic Parties announced in July that they would allow voters to cast their caucus votes over the telephone in February 2020 instead of showing up at the traditional neighborhood caucus meetings. The decision removes a potential cause of a flawed count on caucus night that could undermine the integrity of a process that has been criticized even in its traditional form.

"While only five months remain before the caucuses, we will explore what alternatives may exist to securely increase accessibility from previous years given the time allowed". That makes it hard for those people who work, are out-of-town, don't have child care, have health or mobility issues, can't find transportation or can't make it to the caucus site because of bad weather. "We do not want to create a system that could fail and therefore potentially disenfranchise anyone who uses that system", Troy Price, Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, said at a news conference in Des Moines Friday afternoon. Security concerns have become even more prevalent nationally ever since federal investigators found that Russian Federation improperly worked to influence the 2016 presidential election when Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.

Read the memo from the DNC regarding technology here.

At this month's Iowa State Fair, volunteers and staffers from the Iowa Democratic Party were spreading the word about the proposed virtual caucus. We applaud their innovative work and are grateful for their ongoing, patient cooperation with the committee.

"There is no tele-caucus system available that meets our standard of security and reliability given the scale needed for the Iowa and Nevada caucuses and the current cybersecurity climate", said DNC leadership in a statement.

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However, a decision came down Friday from the Democratic National Committee to not approve the virtual caucus due to security reasons, such as the possibility of hacking and abuse of results, effectively halting the plan for now. Harkin, while a member of Congress, championed the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, which modernized laws across the country to expand access to millions of Americans who deal with physical challenges.

Iowa's caucuses require voters to go out in brutally cold February weather. Iowa-based HyVee recently suffered a data breach.

She said more efforts will be made to boost participation in the Democratic state caucuses.

"Other options, like hand-marked, ranked-choice paper ballots for absentee caucusgoers, would also increase turnout while providing strong protections against hacking", he said.

But the party could have to proceed cautiously with an idea like that.

So no matter what Iowa Democrats decide to do, it's complicated. Or if there is a way to do a mail-in, nearly like an absentee ballot. Which, to New Hampshire's view, starts to make the Iowa caucuses look a lot like a primary. But at least one candidate, former Housing Secretary Julian Castro, called the DNC's decision to scrap the virtual caucus an "affront to the principles of our democracy".

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