Iowa Democrats announce date for 2024 in-person caucus

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(ABC 6 News) – The Iowa Democratic Party on Saturday officially announced the date for its 2024 in-person precinct caucuses.

The party voted to hold the in-person caucus on Jan. 15, 2024, the same day as Republicans.

 The precinct caucuses fall on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is a federal holiday. 

“Iowa Democrats will honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s by renewing our commitment to protecting our freedoms so that we may ensure future generations continue to have a voice,” said Rita Hart, chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, in a statement. 

Despite setting the date, it is unclear how Iowa Democrats plan to proceed with the proposed mail-in portion of the caucuses. 

The Democratic National Committee voted in February to strip Iowa Democrats from their first-in-the-nation caucus status. Since then, Iowa Democrats have been working to find ways to go first without violating party rules. 

The party’s proposed solution came in the form of a mail-in caucus plan, which would allow would-be caucus goers to mail in their presidential preferences ahead of caucus night. The actual caucus itself would be kept to strictly party business. 

However, the party has not specified when it will announce the results of the mail-in votes.

The issue is further complicated by a new law signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds, requiring in-person participation at all caucuses.

Prior to the bill’s passage, Iowa Republicans argued that providing alternatives to in-person caucusing creates a gray area. A vote-by-mail option could functionally turn the caucus into a primary – allowing New Hampshire to skip in front of Iowa.