DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowans will have a new way to caucus in 2020.
According to the Iowa Democratic Party people will be able to use their phone to caucus.
Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price said, “ they’ll be given unique information that will allow them to sign in, dial in, to the virtual caucus and they can participate in one of the six sessions that we have scheduled starting the Wednesday before the caucuses and the last will be in conjunction with the precinct caucus at 7 o’clock on Monday February 3rd.”
Allowing people to use their phones gives them an option if they cannot make the caucus meeting on February 3rd.
Price said regardless of in-person caucusing or over the phone people will be able to indicate whether they’d like to be an alternate to the county convention, a delegate to the state convention and they will be able to submit platform planks.
Right now only Iowa and Nevada are allowing for caucusing over the phone.
Price said other states have opted for allowing absentee ballots, but Iowa wants to stay away from that.
“We wanted to make sure that we preserve our caucus process, we didn’t want to turn this into a primary, a party run primary, we wanted to keep the process and you know it’s why that’s still the central tenant of our process is going to be the precinct caucuses, that’s what we expect the majority of people will participate,,” Price said.
Price said the Iowa Democratic Party is still finalizing vendors and logistics for caucusing over the phone. There will be an educational program in the fall for those planning on using virtual caucusing.
Iowa started caucusing back in 1972.
“This was designed so everyone has a chance to be heard. Highest was 240,000 caucus goers in 2008, we had 171,000 in 2016, we’re expecting to exceed the 2008 number this cycle because of the number of candidates running,” Price said.
People have between January 6th and January 16th to register as a Democrat at be able to participate.