Nevada, North Dakota, and Wyoming have Democratic Party caucuses: Here's how they plan to avoid another Iowa situation
- The Iowa Democratic Caucus descended into chaos on Monday when the reported malfunction of a new app meant to streamline the process led to problems.
- The results from Iowa began to come in about 24 hours after the caucus began.
- Nevada, North Dakota, and Wyoming will join Iowa later this year in holding a caucus over a primary, and all three states say they expect to avoid a similar situation.
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It took almost 24 hours for the Iowa Democratic Party to begin to release results from the nation's first official event of the 2020 election cycle. The IDP attributed the delay to a malfunction of software in an app that was developed to streamline the process this year.
Nevada, which will hold the next caucus on February 22, said earlier Tuesday it would not use the app. The Democratic Pary's in Wyoming and North Dakota told Business Insider they would not use the app during their caucuses either.
Nevada Democrats won't use the Shadow app following the Iowa mess.
A source close to Shadow, the developer of the app used in Iowa, told CNN that Nevada planned to use the app during its February 22 caucus. Shortly after CNN's report on Tuesdday, however, the Nevada Democratic Party released a statement saying it would not be using the software.
"NV Dems can confidently say that what happened in the Iowa caucus last night will not happen in Nevada on February 22," Nevada State Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy said in the statement. "We will not be employing the same app or vendor used in the Iowa caucus. We had already developed a series of backups and redundant reporting systems, and are currently evaluating the best path forward."
The format of the Nevada caucus will be similar to that of the one in Iowa, with eligible caucus-goers joining groups for their preferred candidates. If a candidate doesn't have enough supporters to be "viable," caucus-goers will have the option to move to support another candidate. There are 250 caucus locations in Nevada, per the NDP, and the state party will offer four days of in-person early voting. There are even caucus locations on the Las Vegas strip for casino workers to more easily partake.
The North Dakota Democratic Party said its format is nothing like the Iowa caucus.
Tyler Hogan, party affairs director for the North Dakota Democratic Party, likewise told Insider the state had no plans to use the Shadow app as part of its caucus, which will occur on March 10.
Per Valley News Live, Alex Rohr, the Democratic-NPL Communications Director, explained how the process differed in North Dakota from the Iowa caucus.
"The North Dakota process is fundamentally different than Iowa's caucuses," Rohr said. "Where Iowans had to stay in a single location for hours at a time, North Dakotan primary voters can show up to their nearest polling location, vote, and leave. The process is designed to be as accessible as possible, to as many people as possible, while making sure every vote counts."
North Dakota Democrats can show up to locations in Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck, Minot, Wahpeton, Valley City, Jamestown, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Williston, MHA Nation, Spirit Lake, Turtle Mountain, and Standing Rock.
They can also caucus by mail by requesting a ballot from the party and ensuring it is postmarked by March 3.
Wyoming will let counties decide how they want to caucus and many are forgoing the traditional style.
Nina Herbert, Communications Director for the Wyoming Democratic Party, told Insider that Wyoming Democrats do not expect a repeat of Iowa.
"We are working with an entirely separate vendor and we have no plan to use any sort of app or anything," Herbert told Insider, adding that the state would be working with FairVote Action. She added there would be three opportunities for Wyoming Democrats to participate. She said the party will mail paper ballots to every registered Democrat in the state.
Every caucus-goer will fill out the ballot, which requires that they rank their top five choices.
"They can either mail those ballots back, or they can drop them off on March 28, which is one week prior to the caucus at a drop off location one in each county," Herbert said. "They can also go to the drop-off location on March 28, pick up a ballot and return it then. Finally, on caucus day, voters can drop off the ballot or stay and participate in the caucus."
Herbert said that the various counties in Wyoming can decide whether to participate in a traditional "shuffle" caucus, where they congregate in different areas of a room based on who they support.
"What most counties are opting to is to forgo that sort of shuffle and assemble all of the caucus-goers, and just as in the past, a representative for each campaign will be able to stand and make a speech essentially pitching their candidates to the voters," she said. "Then all of the caucus-goers will receive the same exact same paper ballot and will rank their choices on that paper ballot and turn it in."
The Wyoming Democratic caucus will occur on April 4.