Democratic Party officials in Iowa are hoping to avoid another split within the party following the 2016 primary between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders by implementing changes to the caucus system for the 2020 race.
According to Tuesday report from Politico, Iowa Democrats worry record turnout, as well as a potentially all-time high number of candidates, could accentuate voters’ divisions at a time when the party is still recovering from its devastating 2016 loss.
To hopefully stop a 2016 repeat, the Iowa Democratic Party is “shopping for larger facilities to fit expected overflow crowds, investing in new technology to stave off check-in and head-counting snafus and pushing individual 2020 campaigns to create their own voter registration programs,” according to Politico.
The party is also considering “tele-caucusing,” which would allow Iowa Democrats to participate in the caucus through phone or online.
“The size of these things have outstripped the rules for which they were written,” David Yepsen, a veteran Des Moines journalist, told Politico. “The nature of the events have changed. These aren’t little party people sitting around the kitchen, which is what Jimmy Carter did, and George Herbert Walker Bush.”
These potential modifications to the caucus process would also take place as the Democratic National Committee considers moving California’s elections to the beginning of the primary calendar, meaning that the Iowa caucuses could lose its reputation as the state where prospective presidential candidates gain immense momentum.
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