By O. Kay Henderson (Radio Iowa)
The Iowa GOP’s chairman says there will be “layer upon layer” of safeguards for voting in the 2024 Iowa Republican Party’s Caucuses that will kick off the GOP’s presidential campaign.
“Any system we use will have multiple checks and it will be open to anyone in the media, any Republican to take a look at it,” Jeff Kaufmann said this weekend on “Iowa Press” on Iowa PBS.
Kaufmann was just re-elected to another term as chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa. He also led the party during the 2016 and 2020 Iowa Caucuses.
“We’re going to be aware of all the shenanigans that can potentially occur, especially if it’s just the GOP,” Kaufmann said. “We all know if it’s just the GOP Caucuses, there’s going to be a lot more people interested in the GOP not being able to get this right.”
The Democratic National Committee voted earlier this month to replace the Iowa Democratic Party’s Caucuses and have the South Carolina Primary kick-off voting as Democrats select a presidential nominee. Kaufmann said he’s “not ready to give up” on Iowa Democrats somehow getting that decision reversed. However, Kaufmann has assembled a committee to consider what needs to happen to ensure an Iowa voter doesn’t participate in the Iowa GOP’s Caucuses and in the Democratic Party’s Caucuses, if they’re not on the same night.
“We are having conversations about that very potential problem,” Kaufmann said, “and that would not be in the spirit of the Caucuses and we are searching for solutions.”
Kaufmann acknowledged the “pressure’s on” because there will be Republicans in other states lobbying to end the Iowa GOP’s first in the nation status if something goes wrong here next year.
“We are working overtime and have been in terms of how to make sure that this Caucus, that’s entirely funded by the party unlike a primary — taxpayer dollars don’t go into this and making it right and making sure the country and the 168 (Republican National Committee) members know…we can handle this,” Kaufmann said. “And we will.”
The Republican National Committee voted this past summer to keep the Iowa Caucuses as the first voting event in the 2024 presidential nominating process, followed by voting in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.