Julián Castro Blasts DNC’s Decision to Nix ‘Virtual Caucuses’

BELL GARDENS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 04: Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro speaks at a campaign appearance at Bell Gardens High School, in Los Angeles county, on March 4, 2019 in Bell Gardens, California. Castro, who served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under President Barack Obama, is aiming …
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Presidential candidate Julián Castro (D) blasted the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) decision to reject the proposal for “virtual caucuses” in Iowa and Nevada, adding that it “goes against everything our Party says we stand for.”

It was reported on Friday that the DNC will nix the proposal for “virtual caucuses” in the states, due – in part – to mounting security concerns. The proposal was part of statewide efforts to abide by the rules the DNC implemented following the 2016 election, requiring states to provide an alternative option to the traditional caucuses, which require voters to be physically present for, sometimes, hours:

The Des Moines Register reported:

The decision was confirmed to the Des Moines Register late Thursday by two sources close to the conversations. It follows a meeting of the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee last week in San Francisco, where members voiced concerns about the security of the Iowa plan and the potential for hacking.

Castro blasted the decision in a lengthy statement Friday, arguing that the DNC’s decision will “disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters and decrease turnout by up to a third.”

“The Democratic National Committee’s decision to disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters, and decrease turnout by up to a third, in the first-in-the-nation caucus state is an affront to the principles of our democracy,” Castro said.

“For years, our party has fought for increased access to the ballot, most recently evidenced by the legal struggles in Georgia, North Carolina, and my home state of Texas,” he continued. “This decision goes against everything our Party says we stand for.”

He continued:

As I’ve campaigned in every corner of Iowa, I’ve heard from teachers, home care workers, nurses, single parents, shift workers, and senior citizens who tell me the same thing: one night of caucusing is not enough.

Protecting the integrity of our elections is a critical concern. But with only 157 days until the Iowa caucus, the DNC’s feet-dragging has done a serious disservice to Democratic voters and the principle of a fair, accurate, and unburdensome primary or caucus.

Castro urged the DNC to “embrace” party values by allowing an alternative form of voting, proposing a “secure virtual caucus, mail-in ballot, or early voting absentee process.”

That will “ensure that all Iowans have an opportunity to participate in their caucus,” he added.

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