LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Democrats in the early presidential contest states of Nevada and Iowa will be able to cast their votes over the telephone instead of showing up at their states’ traditional neighborhood caucus meetings next February.
The tele-caucus plans unveiled by the state parties are aimed at opening the local-level political meetings to more people, especially evening shift-workers and people with disabilities, whom critics of the caucuses have long said are blocked from the process.
“It expands the accessibility and also allows us to be more accessible to communities that may not be able to participate, had they not had that virtual option,” said Assemblyman William McCurdy, Nevada Democratic Party chairman.
McCurdy said the goal is to get more people involved in the presidential nomination process.
The changes are expected to boost voter participation across the board, presenting a new opportunity for the Democratic Party’s 2020 candidates to drive up support in the crucial early voting states.
McCurdy said the option will be in place for the Feb. 22 caucus in 2020, and will help people who are disabled or in a situation that prevents them from participating in person.
The Nevada Democrats’ caucus director, Shelby Wiltz, calls the system “a no-excuse option” for voter participation.
McCurdy said, “We’re excited to provide more accessibility and more transparency. And also, make sure that security is always at the forefront of everything that we do here at the party.”