DNC Is Nervous About 2 Virtual Caucuses

Democrats are nervous about virtual caucuses in Nevada and Iowa
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 30, 2019 10:52 AM CDT
DNC Wants a Big Change in 2 Caucuses
In this June 27, 2019 file photo, DNC Chair Tom Perez speaks before the start of a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, in Miami.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

The Democratic National Committee will recommend scrapping state plans to offer virtual, telephone-based caucuses in 2020 because of security concerns, sources tell the AP. 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. DNC leaders are particularly sensitive to hacking concerns after the party was hacked by Russian operatives during the 2016 election cycle. One Democrat familiar with deliberations added that several presidential campaign representatives also had expressed concerns about hacking and whether the public would trust results.

(More Democratic caucus stories.)

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