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Idaho Democrats Applaud Changes To Caucuses, Presidential Nominating Process

Molly Messick
Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Democrats are supporting changes made by the national Democratic Party. They’re backing a new way the party will choose its presidential candidate.

Last week, Democratic Party leaders from across the country traveled to Chicago – 50 years after tear gas choked the city’s streets during the violent 1968 DNC convention.

Half a century later, the group approved changes to try to rebuild trust among its members after leaked emails suggested DNC officials broke their promise to remain neutral by backing Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Responding to the fallout of 2016, Democrats will remove superdelegates – a group of elected officials and party bosses – from the first round of presidential nomination voting in 2020.

“It doesn’t really matter whether they made a difference or didn’t make a difference. There was a perception that they did,” says Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Bert Marley.

He says the move will make the process more transparent.

Idaho Democrats will also shift away from a caucus system, which can last for hours. Instead, they’ll host a primary in 2020 to choose a presidential candidate.

“People like to vote in primaries and caucuses, that requires quite a bit of effort and for some people it’s so difficult to do that. It’s just not worth their time,” Marley says.

He and DNC officials encouraged other states to make the switch. If they still choose to run a caucus, they will now be required to allow absentee voting.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

Copyright 2018 Boise State Public Radio

I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season. If you have a tip, please get in touch!

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