Iowa Votes to be Counted at Secret Location to Thwart Occupy Caucus

Thursday, 29 Dec 2011 02:46 PM

By Dan Weil

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The Iowa Republican Party has decided to move the central counting of ballots in next Tuesday's caucuses to a secret location because of security concerns, news services report.

And what is the security threat?

The Occupy Caucus movement, organized by Occupy Wall Street protesters in the Hawkeye state, has promised to disrupt caucus campaign events during the next week. So far the group says it has no plans to wreak havoc on the caucuses themselves, but the party is playing it safe in any case.

“The Iowa GOP is taking additional safeguards to ensure the caucus results are tabulated and reported to the public in an accurate and timely manner,” Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn told CNN.

Occupy Iowa protesters met Wednesday to plan a week of protests aimed at campaigns for the caucuses. The protesters voted to “go big” starting Wednesday afternoon, conducting demonstrations outside Mitt Romney’s Des Moines campaign headquarters and a Wells Fargo bank building, according to The Des Moines Register.

The protesters aren’t just targeting Republicans. They may demonstrate outside President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign headquarters, too.

The protesters vow to stay peaceful, calling their movement the “People’s Caucus.” They say they want to shift public focus away from the “1 percent” candidates to the “99 percent” they claim to represent.

As for the ballot tabulation, votes in each of the state’s 1,774 precincts will still be counted on site, and observers from the campaigns will be able to monitor the counting. That precinct data will then be sent to the state party's tabulation center.

In previous years, the central counting was conducted at state party headquarters in Des Moines.







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