Concerned about a nonexistent threat to the integrity of the caucuses, the Iowa Republican Party will move their ballot-counting operation to an “undisclosed location.”
The state party has not yet told the campaigns exactly where the returns will be added up, only that it will be off-site from the Iowa GOP’s Des Moines headquarters. The 2008 caucus results were tabulated at the state party offices, which sit just a few blocks from the state capitol.
Activist groups including the Occupy movement have indicated that they’ll attempt to interrupt rallies in the closing days before next Tuesday’s caucuses.
The AP reported today that Occupy is making plans to even attend some caucuses and vote “no preference,” but not disturb the voting process.
I get the press releases and have talked to a couple of the folks running the Occupy the Iowa Caucuses movement, and the idea that they have a nefarious plan to disrupt the caucuses and tamper with the vote-counting process is completely misguided. What you believe about the Iowa GOP’s decision can range from interpreting it as pants-wetting fear of scary hippies all the way to control of the votes to ensure no “mistakes” like, say, Ron Paul winning. But whatever it is, it’s not a legitimate response to what is planned to be peaceful protests with no bearing on the outcome.
Meanwhile, the same Republicans who spent all year fretting about voter fraud, and who are shrouding their vote tabulation activities in secrecy, do not require a photo ID to vote in the caucuses they run.
Despite onerous polling place Photo ID requirements now passed into law in about a dozen states where the GOP controls both the legislative and executive branches, voters will be able to cast their ballot in next Tuesday’s “First-in-the-Nation” Republican Iowa Caucuses without bothering to show a Photo ID — even though the Republican Party itself sets their own rules for voting there.
Unlike most primary elections where an official state election board or agency sets the rules and runs the registration and balloting processes, the Iowa Republican Party runs its own state caucuses, determines the rules, tabulates all the votes and announces the results to the public and media themselves. They have complete control over the entire process, and yet they don’t bother to ask their own voters to show a state-issued Photo ID before casting their ballot.
I wonder why that would be?
I’ll take “Voter Fraud is a Non-existent Problem Designed to Force a Response that Disenfranchises Minorities and Voters Expected to Cast Ballots for Democrats” for $200, Alex.