caucus election

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Iowa: Democrats revamped their caucuses to fend off disinformation. Now some fear the changes could sow new confusion in tight 2020 race. | Isaac Stanley-Becker/The Washington Post

When Democrats here went to bed on the night of their first-in-the-nation caucuses four years ago, the bitterly fought contest between Hillary Clinton and the insurgent Sen. Bernie Sanders was too close to call. So an abrupt predawn notice from the state party declaring Clinton the winner sent some into a fury. Shaky videos of coin tosses deciding delegates in Clinton’s favor spread on Twitter. Stories multiplied of confused caucus-goers, untrained volunteers and mathematical inconsistencies, all amid a wave of suspicion that the party was manipulating the process for Clinton’s benefit. “I never got a satisfactory explanation for how they arrived at their number,” said J. Pablo Silva, a historian at Grinnell College who wasn’t alerted when the state party transferred a delegate from Sanders to Clinton in the precinct in this small college town where he was serving as a caucus secretary. Now, as Iowa Democrats hurtle once again toward the opening faceoff of a hard-fought presidential primary cycle — with at least four candidates seemingly in contention to win Iowa’s Feb. 3 contest — some in the party fear that reforms put in place to prevent the disarray of 2016 may create an entirely new set of problems in 2020.

Full Article: Iowa Democrats revamped their caucuses to fend off disinformation. Now some fear the changes could sow new confusion in tight 2020 race. - The Washington Post.

Iowa: Caucus results will be compiled over the internet, hacking threat aside | The Fulcrum

The first votes of the presidential election will be tabulated after the Iowa caucuses next month using the sort of internet-connected system that worries election security experts. They say preventing the sort of interference that sullied the 2016 election should be more of a priority than speed in compiling the returns. But the Iowa Democratic Party plans to deploy a smartphone app to officials running the caucuses across the state for use in calculating and transmitting the results the night of Feb. 3. Putting such vote totals into cyberspace makes them readily vulnerable to nefarious hacking. Party leaders say they are aware of the potential problems but believe their system will repel them. If that doesn’t happen, the opening round of the intense contest for the Democratic nomination will be condemned to global ridicule.

Full Article: Iowa results to be submitted by app despite hacking threats - The Fulcrum.

Iowa: New rules could muddle results of Iowa caucuses | Stephen Ohlemacher/Associated Press

For the first time, the Iowa Democratic Party will report three sets of results from the party’s presidential caucuses. And there is no guarantee that all three will show the same winner. Each set of results represents a different stage of the caucus. The new rules for the Feb. 3 contest were mandated by the Democratic National Committee in a bid to make the process more transparent. In the past, Iowa Democrats reported only one set of results: the number of state convention delegates won by each candidate through the caucus process. Democrats choose their party’s eventual White House nominee based on national convention delegates, and the state delegates are used to determine those totals in Iowa. The Associated Press will declare a winner in Iowa based on the number of state delegates each candidate wins. The AP will also report all three results.

Full Article: AP Explains: New rules could muddle results of Iowa caucuses.

Nevada: DNC to recommend scrapping Iowa, Nevada virtual caucus plans | Associated Press

The Democratic National Committee will recommend scrapping state plans to offer virtual, telephone-based caucuses in 2020 due to security concerns, sources tell The Associated Press. The final choice whether to allow virtual caucuses in Iowa and Nevada is up to the party’s powerful Rules and Bylaws Committee. But opposition from DNC’s executive and staff leadership makes it highly unlikely the committee would keep the virtual caucuses, leaving two key early voting states and the national party a short time to fashion an alternative before the February caucuses. The state parties had planned to allow some voters to cast caucus votes over the telephone in February 2020 instead of showing up at traditional caucus meetings. Iowa and Nevada created the virtual option to meet a DNC mandate that states open caucuses to more people, but two sources with knowledge of party leaders’ deliberations say there are concerns that the technology used for virtual caucuses could be subject to hacking. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose internal party discussions.

Full Article: DNC to recommend scrapping Iowa, Nevada virtual caucus plans.

Iowa: Democrats Propose `Virtual’ Caucuses for First Time in 2020 | Bloomberg

Democratic leaders in Iowa on Monday proposed a major change in the state’s presidential caucuses by allowing a form of absentee voting next year that aims to expand participation in the first 2020 nominating contest. It would let Iowa Democrats take part via telephone or online in one of six “virtual caucuses” during the week before the traditional Iowa caucuses. That would allow people to get involved even if they can’t attend the traditional gatherings in person because of a disability, work, parenting or another reason. If adopted it “will be the most significant changes to the Iowa Democratic Party caucuses since their inception in 1972,” Troy Price, the state party’s chairman, told reporters on a conference call.

Full Article: Iowa Democrats Propose `Virtual' Caucuses for First Time in 2020 - Bloomberg.

Nevada: Presidential primaries could be on the horizon in Nevada | Las Vegas Review-Journal

Republicans and Democrats could scrap Nevada’s caucus system in favor of a presidential primary under a bill to be considered in the state Legislature. The bill, to be introduced by the Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections, would leave it to the state central committees to request that a secret-ballot primary be held in February in presidential election years. The legislative committee held a meeting on the Senate floor Thursday and voted to introduce the bill, likely next week. Nevada has held caucuses in the past several presidential election cycles. Scheduled for one day and during specific times, voters and other critics argue they are confusing and disenfranchise voters who are unable to attend. Last year’s presidential caucuses were held in February.

Full Article: Presidential primaries could be on the horizon in Nevada | Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Iowa: Democrats file ethics complaint against Iowa Secretary of State | Iowa Caucuses

The Iowa Democratic Party today filed an ethics complaint against Republican Secretary of State Matt Schultz, alleging he used public resources to advocate against a candidate.

Schultz earlier this week issued a statement criticizing former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman for saying he plans to skip the 2012 Iowa caucuses if he runs for the Republican presidential nomination.

Democrats believe that Schultz’s release attacks specific policy positions of Huntsman and violates state law that prohibits the use of public money to advocate political purposes. Democrats filed their complaint with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board.

Full Article: Democrats file ethics complaint against Iowa Secretary of State | Iowa Caucuses.