Next year’s Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3 could be held in far-flung locations as distant as California — and even abroad, including Mexico and Japan. That’s due to a new idea, the “satellite caucus meeting,” that Democrats hope to use to expand “access” to the quadrennial political contest, which traditionally kicks off the start of the presidential primary.
As Breitbart News reported earlier this year, Democrats in Iowa and in Nevada — which is the third state in the party’s primary — both proposed to allow voters to participate in their caucuses by telephone if they could not attend the traditional community gatherings at which they debate the merits of the candidates before casting their votes.
But in August, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) rejected the caucus-by-telephone proposals, noting that there were concerns over “security.”
So Iowa Democrats went back to the drawing board and came up with a different version of the same idea: allowing Iowans who are out of state to caucus locally, wherever they happen to be.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week:
Applications to hold caucuses in places other than the roughly 1,700 Iowa sites sanctioned by the state Democratic Party are due Monday. The expansion is part of an effort to make the tradition-bound process more accessible, including for disabled people or night-shift workers who struggle to attend what can be hourslong caucus meetings.
The additional caucuses have to start at the same time as the Iowa meetings, 7 p.m. Central time, and can be held wherever there are groups of Iowa Democrats—inside or outside of the state—including potential sites such as casinos, retirement homes, college campuses or military installations.
Politico‘s “Playbook” reported Monday that Iowa Democrats had received applications for “satellite” caucuses from several states — and six foreign countries:
Iowa Democrats have received 173 applications for individuals or groups to hold satellite caucuses, including more than 100 within Iowa, 47 out of state (including 10 in Florida, seven in Arizona and four in both Illinois and California) and six countries: New Zealand, Georgia, Japan, Scotland, France and Mexico, Iowa Democrats tell us.
The state party will review applications before finalizing the list of caucus sites by December 18, Politico reports.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.