Final Recommendations of the Iowa Caucus
25, 2012 Sioux City, IA
The Iowa Caucus Review Committee is proposing a new five-part section
of the Republican Party of Iowa Bylaws that would outline certain
procedures and responsibilities for conducting Iowa’s first-in-the-
nation presidential caucuses. The committee also asks that an
additional five recommendations be adopted by the Republican Party of
Iowa State Central Committee, used for planning and included in
The 17-member committee has conducted three public meetings across the
state, established working sub-committees on public information,
operations and training, surveyed more than 600 Iowa Republicans and
consulted with numerous experts.
The Iowa Caucus Review Committee recommends that a new ARTICLE VII of
the By-laws of the Republican Party of Iowa be enacted with subsequent
articles to be re-numbered:
IOWA CAUCUSES PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE POLL
1. The Republican Party of Iowa’s announcement of statewide results of
the Iowa Caucuses Republican Presidential Preference Poll shall be made
available to all media and interested parties at one time by the chair
of the Republican Party of Iowa or his or her designee.
2. If the margin between the top two presidential candidates is less
than 1% of the total votes counted, the results will be reported as
uncertified and no winner will be officially declared until the results
3. Final certification of vote results shall be completed within 72
hours, so that results are announced prior to the New Hampshire
primary. Regardless of the margin, the candidate with the most
certified votes will be declared the winner of the Iowa Caucuses
Republican Presidential Preference Poll.
4. Training material, including the official First-in-the-Nation
Precinct Chair’s Guide to Organizing Your Precinct Caucuses and the
official County Chair’s Guide to Organizing the Iowa Caucuses will be
distributed to county chairs and made available on-line 365 days prior
to the date of the Iowa caucuses. Final training materials will be
distributed and made available online at least 60 days prior to the
date of the caucuses. Paper reporting forms will be in triplicate and
electronic reporting systems will have redundancy. Registered voter
lists will be made available 30 days prior to the date of the caucuses.
5. In non-presidential election year caucuses, a training test run of
the Presidential Preference Poll will be conducted by the Republican
Party of Iowa.
The Iowa Caucus Review Committee also asks that the following
additional recommendations be adopted by the Republican Party of Iowa
State Central Committee. Where appropriate, the recommendations should
be included in the official County Chair’s Guide to Organizing the Iowa
Caucuses and the official Precinct Chair’s Guide to Organizing Your
Precinct Caucuses and other training material.
1. It is recommended that the use of
mobile technology for instantaneous same day certification be
investigated. Considering the rate of innovation in mobile technology,
the committee believes that in 2016 it will be possible for results to
be reported electronically from all caucus sites making same day
certification possible. Results could be reported electronically from
the caucus site to the tabulation center and from the tabulation center
back to the caucus site so that caucus participants can instantaneously
confirm the results.
2. Regarding ballot integrity, it is recommended that: a) Standardized
paper ballots should be distributed to caucus-goers at registration
with no replacing of lost ballots. b) Completed ballots should be
placed by individual caucus-goers in a ballot box. c)
Ballots should be counted in the main caucus room. d) A representative
from each of the participating presidential campaigns should be invited
to observe at the Republican Party of Iowa vote tabulation center.
3. The prepared caucus agenda should contain specific items for
counting, reporting and confirming the vote.
4. It is recommended that technology be utilized to
ensure consistent caucus training. In addition to the written manual,
it is suggested that training materials be available on-line and in
electronic format available to download. Training materials available
via video, DVD or YouTube would ensure consistent caucus training
sessions to individuals who attend or are unable to attend a training
5. It is recommended that RPI hold more training sessions at more
locations across the state and via a webinar or teleconference.
The committee would like to thank Chairman A. J. Spiker and the
Republican Party of Iowa State Central Committee for their confidence
and support. The committee would also like to thank the members of the
Republican National Committee for their ideas and advice. The committee
is most grateful to the many Republicans across Iowa, experts and
others who offered valuable advice, criticisms and assistance. The
members of the committee stand ready to assist in every way possible
with the implementation of these recommendations.
The Iowa caucus review committee was appointed by Republican Party of
Iowa Chairman A. J. Spiker and confirmed by the State Central Committee
in March. The committee met for the first time April 26th in Ankeny.
Members surveyed more than 600 Iowa Republicans seeking ideas for
improving the caucuses. Sub-committees on public information,
operations and training met and developed their preliminary
recommendations. A public hearing was held on the preliminary
recommendations at the second meeting, May 30th in Cedar Rapids.
Committee members also sought comment on the preliminary
recommendations June 15 from delegates at the Republican State
Convention. The final meeting was in Sioux City on June 25th.
The committee was appointed to review the process after caucus-night
results showed Mitt Romney winning by eight votes. However, two
weeks later, after the results were certified, Rich Santorum was the
winner by 34 votes. The early Romney margin was the third-closest
vote in U. S. history. The final Santorum win was the fourth-closest
ever. The 2012 Iowa Caucuses saw a record turnout of 122,000
The caucus process has been used since Iowa became a state in the
1840’s. It came into prominence in 1976 when little-known Gov. Jimmy
Carter beat expectations, and captured the White House. Shortly
thereafter Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status was written into Iowa law.
Committee members and the sub-committees they serve on are:
Chair Bill Schickel
Co-chair Mary Mosiman
Chair, David Oman
Rev. Jamie Johnson
Operations & Tabulation:
Chair David Chung
Co-chair Chad Olsen
State Sen. Nancy Boettger
Chair Kathy Pearson