The Iowa Caucus Went Global this Year!

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by Sabrina Barwick, Project Manager, class of 2020

Disclaimer: as chaotic and intriguing as it is, I am not using this space to discuss the absolute fiasco that was caucus results reporting in Iowa. If it infuriated you, and you’re a U.S. citizen, I kindly suggest you register to vote, take some inspiration from the dedicated and patriotic Iowans described below, and fulfill your civic duty. Check if you’re registered here

For some background, Iowa is a state in the U.S.A. It could be described as being in the ‘heartland’ but also as being ‘midwest’. The weather is cold and terrible. The standard cuisine is whatever take your family has on casserole (hotdish?). It also kicks off the presidential primaries as it hosts the first primary election of all 50 states (51 if you include Puerto Rico, which allows citizens to vote in the primaries, but not the presidential election). In order to determine how many delegates a candidate receives, which determines the winning candidate, Iowans caucus.

Notably, something brand new happened this year: the Iowa Democratic Party allowed Iowans living outside the state to hold satellite caucuses! Our snowbird visitors from the north held four caucuses around Arizona: in Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Tucson, and Green Valley. However, satellite caucuses were not limited to our beautiful Grand Canyon state – according to the New York Times, Iowans caucused all the way from Scotland, France, and Georgia (the country). They also participated in Florida, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, and more. This is an exciting transition for Iowans devoted to participating in an event which has significant potential to influence the presidential nominee. This change in the process also better reflects the United States slogan from the 18th century, “No taxation without representation”.

So, if you’re a citizen of the United States and a globe-trotting Thunderbird, add ‘acquire an absentee voter ballot’ to your to-do list for the fall. If Iowans can perform a caucus successfully from Eastern Europe, filling out a ballot shouldn’t be a challenge.

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