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Iowans caucus at Marquette University

Posted at 10:39 PM, Feb 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-03 23:40:34-05

MILWAUKEE — A first for Iowa and a first for Wisconsin - we call it absentee voting here.

But in Iowa they caucus and the only chance for out-of-state Iowa voters to participate was to show up at a satellite location - like Marquette University to be a part of the first in the nation presidential contest.

It was not as raucous of a caucus as out-of-state Iowa voter Cooper Warner remembers.

"A lot different from my first one," said the Marquette Law School student, "but it's exciting to see so many people coming out in support and engaged."

There were the typical campaign speeches. "Joe Biden has proven to be the only candidate to be able to put together a coalition that can beat Donald Trump, said Sarah Collins a Joe Biden supporter.

Given by everyday citizens who want their presidential candidates to win. "I believe Bernie Sanders is creating a movement rather than just a political agenda. He's for healthcare for all," said Walter Wilson a Bernie Sanders supporter.

After the speeches - it was time to vote by going to the name of your candidate on the wall to be counted. That's how it's done in Iowa.

For the seven registered Democratic voters who showed up - like Marquette Student Maaz Ahmed - the first-ever satellite caucuses were a big hit.

"The opportunity this allows people who are not at home currently is so much more important than anything else."

Normally an Iowa caucus can last one hour or two or more. Here at Marquette, it was over and done in about 20 minutes.

Wisconsin Democrat Jason Rae helped run the satellite caucus at his alma mater. He will play a major role in his party's convention in Milwaukee this summer.

"We wanted to ensure that they were as accessible as possible and these satellite caucuses did just that," said Rae.

So only four delegates were up for grabs at Marquette. Elizabeth Warren picked up two, Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar each got one that will be added to a larger pool to be divided up.

Marquette was one of two dozen satellite caucus locations around the country but the only one in Wisconsin.

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