The Daily Brew: DNC rejects virtual caucuses in Iowa, Nevada

Today’s Brew highlights the DNC’s rejection of phone caucus plans + efforts to lower the voting age in California  
 The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Wednesday, Sept. 4, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Democratic National Committee rejects virtual caucusing for Iowa in 2020
  2. California Assembly approves two state amendments lowering voting age
  3. 79% of Ballotpedia survey respondents say a president’s running mate choice affects their vote

Democratic National Committee rejects virtual caucusing for Iowa in 2020

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has rejected the Iowa Democratic Party’s plans to conduct virtual caucuses in the state—which would allow people to participate by phone—from January 29 to February 3, 2020. The DNC recommended on August 30 that its Rules and Bylaws Committee reject Iowa’s virtual caucus plans, as well as similar plans developed in Nevada.

DNC leadership said in a statement, “There is no tele-caucus system available that meets our standard of security and reliability given the scale needed for the Iowa and Nevada caucuses and the current cybersecurity climate.” Both states had proposed the virtual caucus option to comply with new DNC rules that required that states holding caucuses institute absentee voting to facilitate participation by those unable to attend in person.

Iowa Democratic Party chairman Troy Price said he will work to find an alternative that addresses the DNC’s concerns. At an Aug. 30 news conference, he said, “We’re going to continue to work with the DNC to make sure that our caucuses are a success in 2020.” The DNC has said that it will give final approval to Iowa’s caucus plans on Sept. 13. 

The 2016 Iowa Democratic caucuses had 171,517 participants, the second-highest number in the event’s history. The 2008 caucuses had 239,872 participants. The 2016 Iowa Republican caucuses had a record 182,000 participants.

Des Moines Democratic Party chairman John Smith stated, “We might have to drop the caucuses and do a primary in order to meet the DNC’s requirements.” If Iowa changes its caucus system to a primary, it could disrupt the rest of the Democratic nominating calendar. State law requires New Hampshire to hold the nation’s first presidential primary. Iowa’s caucuses are currently scheduled for February 3. The New Hampshire primary is set for February 11.

Learn more

        

 

California Assembly approves two state amendments lowering voting age 

The California State Assembly approved two constitutional amendments in August that would reduce the state’s voting age from 18 to 17. If approved by the state Senate, voters could decide both amendments at California’s next statewide primary in March 2020. 

One proposal—ACA 4—would allow 17-year-olds who will be 18 at the time of the next general election to vote in that year’s primaries and special elections. Sixteen states allow 17-year-olds who will be 18 at the time of the next general election to vote in that year’s primaries.

The other proposal—ACA 8—would make California the first state in the nation to lower the voting age from 18 to 17 for all elections. If approved by voters, ACA 8 will go into effect for the November 3, 2020, general election.

According to an Assembly Floor Analysis from the Office of the Chief Clerk of the California Assembly, “Because the US Constitution only addresses abridging the right to vote and this measure expands voting rights there appears to be no conflict with the federal constitution. In an opinion dated April 12, 2004, the Legislative Counsel opined that an amendment to the California Constitution to permit a person under the age of 18 to vote would not violate federal law.” 

Fifty-six Democrats and two Republicans voted for ACA 4. Twelve Republicans and one Democrat voted against it. Fifty-four Democrats and three Republicans voted for ACA 8. Thirteen Republicans and three Democrats voted against the measure. Both amendments needed a two-thirds majority—53 votes—to pass the state Assembly.  

A two-thirds majority in the state Senate—27 votes—is needed to pass a constitutional amendment. The 40-member state Senate is composed of 29 Democrats and 11 Republicans. California is one of 16 states that requires a two-thirds vote in each legislative chamber during one legislative session to refer a constitutional amendment to the ballot. 

The state Senate has not yet acted on either measure. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn Sept. 13.

Between 1995 and 2018, the California Legislature has asked voters to decide 32 constitutional amendments. Voters approved 27—or 84%—of those amendments.

Learn more→

79% of Ballotpedia survey respondents say a president’s running mate choice affects their vote

By this time next year, both major parties’ presidential tickets will be set after the Democratic National Convention takes place from July 13-16, 2020, and the Republican National Convention is held from Aug. 24-27, 2020. 

Last week’s What’s the Tea? question asked, When voting, how much does a presidential candidate’s running mate impact your decision? 

What's the tea?

Learn more→




About the author

Dave Beaudoin

Dave Beaudoin is a project director at Ballotpedia and can be reached at dave.beaudoin@ballotpedia.org

Bitnami