Brad Friedman at Bradblog.com reports on some key procedures in the 2012 Iowa Republican caucus. At issue is just how transparent and public the process is, and whether there are any holes in the cheese. Fewer holes than 2008, it seems. A bit of diligence on the part of caucus participants will be needed (see end of this article for what to do).
There is also some consternation from concerned citizens about a recent Politico.com story, which reports that the Iowa statewide caucus counting will be moved to an undisclosed location, its author chiding those who question the transparency behind such a move as "conspiracy minded types."
To be clear about this, insisting on transparency is a necessary and patriotic element of running any public election, and ridiculing public citizens who examine transparency is kind of embarrassing. For the reporter. Not the citizens.
The truth is, the counting process, even if it is moved to a secret location, will not destroy transparency if the process I outline at the end of this article is followed.
In order to protect any election, we need to boil the process down to its simplest components, refuse to take our eye off them, and understand the difference between a public election, which is democratic in nature, and a non-public election, which is simply a bit of theatre.