Iowa: Press 1 for Harris. Press 2 for Biden …’Tele-voting’ comes to the presidential race | Alex Seitz-Wald/MBC
You can phone it in. For the first time, Democrats in Iowa and Nevada will be able to participate in their states’ crucial early presidential caucuses next year without actually having to show up. It’s a major change from election years past and one designed to make the Democratic caucuses more democratic and boost participation since not everyone has the time or ability to spend several hours of a specific evening attending an in-person caucus meeting. “This has been one of the challenges and criticisms that people have had of the Iowa caucuses since they were created,” Troy Price, the chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, told NBC News. “So we’ve always been looking for ways to address this.” Both Iowa and Nevada will now allow any Democrat who wants to to use a telephone to dial into a “virtual caucus,” where they’ll rank a handful of their choices for the presidency. Iowa will offer Democrats six chances to “tele-caucus” in the days leading up to its Feb. 3 first-in-the-nation caucus. “We wanted a process that would continue to allow the precincts to remain the central tenant of our caucuses, while allowing some people who might not otherwise be able to to participate,” Price said.