"Plan B" for the Iowa caucuses will leave many disenfranchised

The Iowa Democratic Party has approved a plan to replace the “virtual caucus” recently nixed by the Democratic National Committee.

But while a news release hailed the proposal to “increase participation and make the caucuses more accessible for Iowans who have traditionally been unable to attend their in-person precinct caucus,” many Democrats won’t be able to use satellite caucuses.

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A candidate for the people

Stacey Walker is a Linn County supervisor who considered seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. -promoted by Laura Belin

I’ve always said that I never wanted to be one of those politicians who sat on the sidelines, not making my support known until it was absolutely clear who the winner would be. I’ve also never been comfortable offering my endorsement of a candidate out of sheer political expediency. It’s just not me.

Instead, I’ve chosen to be an elected official who weighs in and helps bring attention to bold, progressive candidates, because that is exactly what our party and our country needs. Luckily, we have a candidate with those qualities and then some. Her name is Kimberly Graham and she is running to be the next U.S. senator from the great state of Iowa.

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A 55-cent solution to a million-dollar problem

Tom Kinn is a letter carrier in Waterloo and is President of Branch 512 of the National Association of Letter Carriers. -promoted by Laura Belin

In the 2018 midterm elections, about 27 percent of all 118 million votes were cast by ballots directly delivered to the voter, according to PEW Research. Both PEW and the MIT Election Lab show the percentages growing every cycle. Soon, in-person voting on election day will be less than 50 percent of the total. Voting at home is growing steadily and exceeds early in-person voting.

Perhaps it is time for Iowa to have a more fully developed variant of our current, older system.

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Giving Iowans a voice matters more than a united front with New Hampshire

For decades, Iowa Democratic Party leaders have avoided any meaningful reforms to make the Iowa caucuses more accessible, so as not to trigger objections from New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner.

The plan to expand participation in 2020 through a call-in “virtual caucus” was carefully crafted to avoid pushing any of Gardner’s buttons.

Now that the virtual caucus is officially dead, party leaders must choose one of two paths: fight for Iowans who have historically had no voice in selecting our party’s presidential nominee, or continue to put keeping the peace with New Hampshire at the top of their priority list.

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