Democratic voters in Iowa and Nevada will be able to cast caucus votes over the telephone next February, The Associated Press reported Monday.
The tele-caucus systems are reportedly focused on improving turnout at neighborhood caucus meetings, especially for evening-shift workers and people with disabilities.
“This is a no-excuse option” for participation, Shelby Wiltz, the Nevada Democrats’ caucus director, told the AP.
Some recent polling in Iowa indicates that as many as 20 percent of Democrats will participate in the process without physically being in attendance at a caucus site, according to AP.
Iowa adopted the caucus meeting system over 50 years ago, while Nevada picked it up in 2014.
A dial-in program, rather than an online system, will allow more access for rural areas of both early-voting states, Democrats say.
“One, we are a rural state. And let’s be honest, outside of Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada is a rural state. Everyone is connected by phone,” Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price told the AP.
While Nevada Democrats said that accessibility, and not security, drove them to opt for a phone-in system, Iowa Democrats said they felt a lower-tech option was safer.
“With this system, it’s easier than making sure thousands of computers across the state are not filled with malware and not being hacked,” Price said.
Both states reportedly presented their plans to the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee (DNC) late last month.
“We are working with every state party that is integrating these tools so they can make their voting process secure and successful. We look forward to working with Democrats in these states to address the committee’s questions,” DNC spokesman David Bergstein said in a statement.