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Bad weather impacts turnout for first caucus

The first in the country Iowa Caucuses took place Monday and the weather did not help. North Iowa saw up to three inches of snow in some areas giving both parties something to agree on, road conditions.

Posted: Feb. 5, 2018 10:32 PM
Updated: Feb. 6, 2018 6:28 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa- The first in the country Iowa Caucuses took place Monday and the weather did not help. North Iowa saw up to three inches of snow in some areas, giving both parties something to agree on, road conditions.

“Partly covered and slick,” said Theresa Chadd-Blanchard, of Rockwell.

“They were a little slick, just have to use caution,” said Lauren Castaner, of Clear Lake.

But according to the state party officials they couldn’t change the caucus dates because of the bad weather issuing a joint statement.

“In light of today’s weather, the Republican Party of Iowa and the Iowa Democratic Party have issued the following joint statement about tonight’s caucuses:

The Iowa Caucuses will continue as planned this evening. We recognize the hardship that today’s weather could cause for some caucus-goers to get to their caucus site this evening. However, after reviewing Iowa Code and our respective constitutions, there is no provision for us to postpone the caucuses due to weather.

We urge everyone to use caution and common-sense when heading out this evening. Take it slow, allow plenty of time, and take care while on the roads."

Chadd-Blanchard says this is one of the reasons for low turnout numbers.

“It’s a non-presidential year, so there is no vote like a presidential year,” she said. “But weather, I would say, is the biggest part.”

She says she didn’t mind the 20-minute drive from Rockwell as she was elected as a delegate for the first time.

“I don’t know what to expect, but it was easy kind of exciting,” Chadd-Blanchard said.

Others, like Lauren Castner, say people should expect this kind of weather in Iowa this time of year and you shouldn’t let sloppy roads stop you from having your voice heard.

“Elections have become very very important these last couple of years so I expected quite a few people.”

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Rain chances return this afternoon.
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