Iowas Caucus Explained and the Chaos That Followed

Photo Credit/ Mairead Lowry

Violet Chube, News Editor

What is the Iowa Caucus?

Every presidential election, as Illinoisans, we vote for presidential candidates during the primaries and the presidential election on a ballot in a voting booth. Most voting places can be anywhere from schools to local park districts. However, the state of Iowa does it a little bit differently.

Iowa has what is known as a caucus. At a caucus, residents meet at their local voting places. While at their voting place, they will hear from most candidates. At this time, Iowa residents discuss their preferences and opinions on each candidate. Once they listen to all the presidential candidates, they will go into separate rooms depending on which candidate they support.

According to CNN, “On caucus night, the Iowa Democratic Party will report three numbers, including the “state delegate equivalent” result, which is used to calculate the number of national delegates each candidate receives; those delegates will go to the national convention.” The winners are decided based on the popular vote.

What happened this year?

Usually, the Iowa Caucus should run smoothly, but this year, it was more chaotic than in previous years. A new way of voting was added to the caucus this year, as residents could cast their vote via a phone app. During the voting process, many voter apps crashed and didn’t record their vote. Usually, media outlets would have the result of the caucus within hours, but it took a couple of days to recount the votes. The incident has caused chaos in Iowa and confusion amongst voters.

The next caucus will be in New Hampshire on Tuesday, February, 11. Keep your eyes peeled and ears open and continue to learn about the different candidates.

According to the New York Times, the top five candidates from the state of Iowa include:

Pete Buttigieg- 26.2%

Bernie Sanders- 26.1%

Elizabeth Warren- 18.2%

Joe Biden- 15.8%

Amy Klobuchar- 12.2%