Iowa Democratic Party

December 18, 2019

Iowa Democratic Party Announces Satellite Caucus Locations for 2020 Caucuses

Iowans will be able to caucus at 99 additional sites around the world

Over 80 percent of applications approved for satellite caucuses

DES MOINES — Today, the Iowa Democratic Party announced 99 satellite caucus locations for Iowa voters to participate in the first-in-the-nation caucuses during extended hours at a venue other than their assigned precinct location on February 3, 2020. Of the total 192 submissions received by the committee, 136 were complete applications. The satellite caucus review committee approved 81% of the completed applications, including 71 in-state, 25 out-of-state, 11 combinations with other locations, and 3 international locations.

Iowa Democrats will have the option to caucus at locations like accessibility and assisted living centers, language and community gathering places, work centers, and union halls. Notably, there are 19 working-related sites, 21 student sites on college campuses, 38 sites that accommodate accessibility needs including aging service centers, 12 sites that are accommodating language and culture needs, and 9 sites for those Iowans who spend their winters in other parts of the country. The full list of approved satellite locations can be found here.
“From Paris to Palm Springs, Iowa Democrats will be caucusing on February 3, 2020. Our goal has remained steadfast throughout this process – to make these caucuses the most accessible in our party’s history, and the satellite caucuses do just that,” said IDP Chair Troy Price. “I’m glad that so many Iowans are able to take advantage of this expanded opportunity to have their voices heard on caucus night, whether in their precinct caucuses or through one of these sites. With the work being done by so many activists, volunteers and leaders – not only here in Iowa, but across the country and around the globe – we are as confident as ever that these will be the most successful caucuses Iowans have ever seen.”
Satellite caucusgoers who attend an out-of-state satellite site — or an in-state satellite site that takes place before 6pm CST on February 3, 2020 — must be a registered Democrat and complete the online Satellite Caucus Pre-Registration for their satellite caucus by January 17, 2020. Satellite caucusgoers do not need to pre-register to attend satellite caucuses that are in-state, open to the public, and start after 6pm CST. The exception would be locations that are private for those residents or workers. 

Iowans who attend an in-state satellite caucus that begins at 7pm CST are able to change their registration at the satellite caucus site.

Iowans who were interested in hosting a satellite caucus submitted applications by November 18, 2019. The 10-person review committee considered all of the applications equally based on demonstrated need for the satellite caucus, completeness of the application, proximity to precinct and other satellite sites, and location accessibility.

Of the 192 submitted applications, 28 were withdrawn by the applicant and 28 applications were incomplete. For the 136 remaining sites, 11 combined with another site, and 26 were not approved — bringing the approval rate to 81%. 

Keeping with the spirit of the DNC rules and regulations, satellite caucus sites will make the process more accessible for Iowans who have traditionally been unable to attend their in-person precinct caucus. 

Just like precinct caucuses, each satellite location will have a trained captain who is charged with overseeing the room, managing volunteers, and reporting the results on caucus night. The number of delegate equivalents from each satellite site is based on the total number of attendees at that site on caucus night.

Each congressional district will have one additional satellite caucus county, where the results from each satellite caucus within that congressional district will be reported, weighted by the number of participants in the satellite caucuses. For out-of-state satellite caucuses, the results will be reported through one additional “at large” satellite caucus county that will be added at the state convention, weighted by the number of participants in those caucuses.

The Iowa Democratic Party has secured 1,668 of the needed 1,678 precinct caucus locations, and more than 1,700 Iowans have completed or are in the training pipeline to be caucus leaders. To learn more about how to get involved in the caucuses, go to


Iowa Democratic Party
Friday, September 20, 2019

DNC Rules Committee Conditionally Approves 2020 Iowa Delegate Selection Plan

Satellite caucus system will increase voter participation and expand accessibility on caucus night

DES MOINES — Today, the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) Rules and Bylaws Committee gave conditional approval to the Iowa Democratic Party’s (IDP) updated Delegate Selection Plan. This plan creates satellite caucuses for the 2020 cycle - a new mechanism for Iowans to participate in the 2020 caucuses who could not otherwise participate in their precinct caucuses.

The IDP’s updated delegate selection plan for the 2020 Iowa Caucuses fulfills the party’s goals of increasing voter participation and securely expanding accessibility, while meeting the requirements of the DNC rules governing the 2020 Presidential Selection Process. 

The Iowa State Central Committee voted unanimously in favor of the proposal, and the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee unanimously approved it on Friday. The Rules Committee’s action today means that Iowa’s plan has met the spirit of the DNC rules, and will be moved into full compliance after further review by DNC staff.

“With this approved plan, we can get back to the task at hand: electing a Democrat who will defeat Donald Trump and move our country forward. Iowa Democrats have worked incredibly hard to bring more voters into our party, and a satellite caucus system is the best solution for us to build on that work while increasing participation on caucus night,” said IDP Chair Troy Price. “Maintaining the spirit of the caucuses while expanding participation has always been our goal. I am confident that our 2020 caucuses will be the most successful in our state’s history. We look forward to working with Iowans across the state to implement this plan and grow our party in all 99 counties.”

About the proposal:

  • The 2020 satellite caucus proposal will allow for additional caucus locations on February 3 to expand participation for people who cannot attend their in-person precinct caucus.

  • The IDP will expand the constituency engagement team to ensure the party is reaching communities across the state, as well accessibility staff to make sure the caucus system works for all Iowans.

  • Iowa Democrats can apply to hold a satellite site at places like factories, group homes, or community gathering places, to better accommodate people who cannot attend their in-person caucus. This option will be especially useful for shift workers, Iowans with disabilities, Iowans
    serving overseas, and students.

  • The IDP will create a special satellite caucus review committee that will review applications and determine approval. The committee members will be appointed by the IDP Chair, and it will be comprised of SCC members who have pledged neutrality in the presidential race.

  • Just like precinct caucuses, each satellite location will have a trained captain who is charged with overseeing the room, managing volunteers, and reporting the results on caucus night.

  • The results will be reported using the same method as precinct caucus locations. The satellite caucuses will create one additional county in each Congressional District. 

This plan builds on the work that Iowa Democrats have already been doing to organize the most successful caucuses in history. The IDP has secured nearly 80% of the precinct locations and there are nearly 1,000 people in the caucus leadership pipeline - putting the party ahead of the pace set by previous years. To ensure all of the precinct caucus locations are accessible, the party put in place a rigorous location recruitment process, which requires every location to be scouted and checked for accessibility issues including restrooms and parking spaces. The party has rebuilt infrastructure in places where none existed just a year before. The procedures in place will ensure the 2020 caucuses are the most transparent and accessible caucuses in our state’s history.