By: Matt Klinman
How The Iowa Caucuses Actually Work
What Are The Iowa Caucuses?
The Iowa Caucuses are how citizens in the state of Iowa are able to get their crack at having sex with U.S. presidential candidates before any other state. Because of its ‘first in the nation” status, presidential hopefuls are heavily encouraged to spend months and months in Iowa meeting face to face with every person living there. If the love bug bites during any one of those campaign stops, who knows what could happen? But even if it doesn ‘t, the caucuses will determine who Iowa party delegates will support for U.S. president.
Where Do The Caucuses Take Place?
There are 1,681 precincts in Iowa and thus 1,681 caucuses. The caucuses take place in many different locations including schools, libraries, recreation centers, large public bathrooms, state-run orgy huts, morgues, and out back behind the 7-Eleven where we got high with Little Toby that one time and found all that greenish cat litter. The only requirement for where a caucus can occur is that it must be at a place other than the reptile house at the zoo. Some voters get the willies there and that ‘s not fair to them.
Who Can Participate?
Registered Democrats and Republicans can participate in their respective caucuses as long as they will be 18 by the time of the election. Registered magicians are also encouraged to attend as the caucuses are long and boring. Con artists were banned in 1976 but, as always, if they are suave and ultimately have their heart in the right place they will probably be let in. It is unlikely members of ISIS will be allowed to caucus this year but anyone is allowed to observe so caucus goers should still be on the lookout.
Once there, caucus goers split up based on their party affiliation and follow different procedures.
How Does It Work For Republicans?
At the Republican caucuses surrogates for the candidates will each give speeches. Most surrogates are smaller, translucent versions of the candidates grown in local labs over the last year that will die just a few days after the caucuses. In more remote parts of Iowa traditional surrogates may still be used. For example, in one eastern Iowa precinct a live crocodile with a loaded AK-47 jamming its mouth open will be speaking for Donald Trump while Chris Christie will be represented in several counties by four-foot-tall mounds of steaming roast pork and broccoli rabe.
After these speeches, attendees will vote by paper ballot or app for their chosen candidate. So really the Republican caucuses are just longer, more annoying version of primary elections.
How Does It Work For Democrats?
The Democratic caucuses are actually a different kind of thing. Resembling more of a team building warm up, they involve everyone in the room going to a different corner that represents their candidate. The corners are chosen by the ghosts of party leaders who still haunt the caucus locations to this day. While scary, the ghosts are also the only ones that know how to fill out the paperwork correctly.
Once caucusers have chosen their corners, they are required to check those corners for bugs and mice. If bugs and mice are not eliminated at this point they will be required to continue on to the DNC convention and will be a national embarrassment. We all remember the photo from 2004 of John Kerry high-fiving a rat that ended up being a convicted rapist.
Once vermin are eliminated, the attendees in each corner are counted. If a candidate like Martin O ‘Malley doesn ‘t get enough voters then anyone supporting him will have to move to a different corner of the room to support a different candidate. This is, of course, a joke I am making as not a single person will be going into an O ‘Malley corner.
A bunch of stuff that doesn ‘t really matter to the rest of America because the next phase of this happens in March and we will all be paying attention to something else by then and Iowa doesn ‘t really have enough delegates to matter anyway.
Illustrated by Zack Poitras