DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO) — They don’t know if the Democratic National Committee will allow it, but Iowa Democratic Party officials released a draft plan on Wednesday that would substantially change the caucuses for 2024.
“While this draft has the potential to change over the next month, the principals of this plan will not,” Iowa Democratic Party Chair Rita Hart said during a news conference on Zoom. “It is still our intention to move forward with the most inclusive Iowa caucus process in history.”
Participants would mail their presidential preference card denoting their candidate choice, rather than gathering with neighbors at their designated site on caucus night per tradition. Hart maintains that the change would allow more Iowans to take part in the process.
Back in February, the Democratic National Committee announced that Iowa Democrats would no longer have the privilege of holding the first-in-the-nation contest. Scott Brennan, the party’s representative on the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, contends that Iowa’s chances of remaining first in 2024 aren’t zero.
“No matter what Iowa Democrats do, this calendar won’t hold. Both New Hampshire and Georgia have until June 3 to provide evidence to the rules and bylaws committee that they can comply with the requirements that the rules and bylaws committee put on them for the purposes of going forward with the Democratic calendar. And to my knowledge, Georgia can not comply and New Hampshire can not and will not comply.”
Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann released a statement criticizing the plan:
“If it is the goal of the Iowa Democratic Party to carry out the will of Iowans and preserve our First-in-the-Nation status, they cannot move forward with their mail-in ballot plan that supersedes the New Hampshire Primary.
“It is becoming clear to me that keeping Iowa first is not the goal of the Iowa Democrats. The fact that they continue to keep pushing their primary-in-all-but-name proposal gives the appearance that the Iowa Democrats are hellbent on tanking the entire caucus. They’ve turned what used to be a process that we did together into all out political warfare.
“There is nothing stopping Iowa Democrats from simply holding their de facto primary after New Hampshire’s First-in-the-Nation Primary. Instead, Iowa Democrats would rather carry water for Joe Biden and his vendetta against the Iowa Caucus, even running the risk of breaking Iowa law. They’ve reached a new low in political gamesmanship – organizing an effort to kill the Iowa Caucuses.”