In an unexpected political twist, a move to include overseas military personnel and wounded warriors in the presidential nominating process could threaten the caucuses in Iowa and other states. At both the Republican and Democratic national conventions over the summer, delegates proposed rules changes to enhance the ability of overseas service members and injured troops to participate in the caucuses. A Republican rules change asserting that states “shall use every means practical to guarantee” the participation of overseas and injured service members in the presidential nominating process was designed to enhance military voting. But in the case of Iowa and other caucus states, where voters must be present to participate, it also has the side effect of forcing changes in traditional procedures — and raising questions about the future viability of the caucuses themselves.
“The coalition of people who were supporting it — some just cared deeply about the military, and some thought of it as a vehicle [for change], because they think caucuses are fundamentally unjust,” said one Republican strategist who supported the rule. “If someone wants to join my cause for some other reason, well, they’re supporting the cause. I think there’s a good argument that the caucus system ought to be defanged, even putting aside military voting,” said Sam Wright, a director at the Reserve Officers Association.
Reacting to a perceived threat to their state’s long-standing, first-in-the-nation caucuses, Iowa members of the Republican National Committee extracted a compromise that explicitly outlined that the purpose of the rule is not to eliminate the caucuses. Still, there’s the looming challenge of incorporating overseas service members into a caucus system based on showing up at a local home, school or church basement.
Full Article: Military voting threatens caucuses – Tim Mak – POLITICO.com.