Iowa Dems look to expand caucus access

Iowa Democrats are considering ways to expand access to their state’s caucuses in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential race. 

Scott Brennan, chairman of Iowa’s Democratic Party, told the Democratic National Committee Friday that there are ways to remove “barriers” to participating in the caucuses, according to The Associated Press.

Brennan submitted various proposals to the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee on Friday including working with the Legislature and governor to pass legislation requiring employers to allow non-essential workers to leave work to attend the caucuses. 

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He also suggested Iowans serving in the military could join the caucuses by teleconference and elderly and shift workers could attend at satellite sites. Democratic officials could also work with counties to expand child care opportunities, Brennan recommended.

Iowa’s 2016 caucuses are tentatively scheduled for Jan. 18.

Polls show Hillary Clinton would be the 2016 Democratic frontrunner if she enters the race.

When she first ran in 2008, she came in third at the Iowa caucuses, with President Obama winning and John Edwards in second.

Clinton had said during her campaign that Iowa’s rules prevented people who worked at night or those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan from attending the caucuses, the AP noted.  

Nearly 240,000 Iowa voters participated in the Democratic caucuses in 2008.