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Iowa Democrats propose satellite caucusing to fulfill requirement to expand access

Biden campaign says Iowa caucus a "dog fight"

With less than five months to go until the Iowa caucus, the state's Democratic Party proposed satellite caucusing to fulfill the requirement to expand access after the "virtual caucus" plan was scraped. Satellite caucusing would allow Iowans who can't attend in-person caucuses on February 3 to participate during extended hours at a location other than their precinct location.  

The plan would allow Democrats to hold satellite caucuses in places like factories, group homes or community event spaces. The party says it is designed to help people like shift workers, disabled Iowans, people serving overseas and students.   

The satellite caucuses would take place on the same day as the in-person ones, which would allow Iowa to avoid any primary-like measures which would endanger New Hampshire's status as the first in the nation.   

The new proposal comes weeks after the DNC rejected the state's initial plan to hold virtual caucuses because of security concerns. The Iowa Democratic party said reporting will follow the same method as precinct caucus locations and creates one additional county in each congressional district.

"There are many challenges with developing a new system, especially in such a short period of time,"  said the state Democratic party chair Troy Price in a statement. "And a satellite caucus system is the best possible solution to build on the great work of caucus organizers and keep focused on our goal of giving more Iowans a voice in our party and building momentum up-and-down the ticket in 2020." 

The Rules and Bylaws Committee, which determines the delegate rules, will discuss the new plan on a Friday over conference call. The committee intends to vote on it during the call so the state party and presidential campaigns can educate voters on the process. 

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