Despite the presence of Occupy protestors in Iowa, the Iowa Republican Party is confident voter fraud won't be a concern Tuesday night at the presidential caucuses. The Iowa GOP sets the rules for voting, and has decided to allow Iowans to register on the day of the election. However, Iowa GOP chair Matt Strawn insists reports are incorrect that voters don't need a photo ID to register on Tuesday.
"You need to make sure you are a registered Iowa voter in the precinct within which you live. And if you are registered Republican, your name will already be on the pre-provided list at your individual precinct. If you're not a registered Republican, you can register tonight but you have to show a photo ID proving residence in that precinct in order to participant," Strawn said.
Same-day registration has raised flags for some that unqualified candidates, like protestors, will disrupt the voting process. Strawn said visitors "are welcome to observe if you are from out of town, but we're not going to give you a ballot."
Strawn makes it clear the caucuses are volunteer-run, and while they want to make sure the caucus sites are secure, they acknowledge the possibility of disruptions and are focused on getting results out quickly.
"Well there is two things, one we want to make sure the caucus sites are secure. People have to realize that these are volunteer-run, this is as grassroots/community based as it gets - 1,774 precincts --so we've worked with local law enforcement to make sure they are well aware of where our precinct locations are, and that volunteer precinct leaders know what the rights are, because our folks have a First Amendment right just like the protesters do to assemble and make their voices heard tonight," he said.
"But secondly, when it comes to the results tonight, we want it to be timely and accurate, so our tabulation center we've moved outside the party headquarters because what we've seen with the Occupy movement they shut down offices here in Des Moines. We'll have campaign representatives in there overseeing our tabulations, so hopefully we'll have those quickly in prime time tonight.
Iowa GOP spokesman Doug Heye insists that "the likelihood of someone walking into a meeting of neighbors and listening to political speeches to cast a fraudulent vote is negligible."
He explained that the nature of the caucus process doesn't lead to fraud since caucuses are an intimate event and it's not likely unrecognized people will just be waived in.
"Caucus-goers don't simply vote at some point during the day and leave, they have to commit to staying there for a while."