Rick Williams in Iowa: New technology expected to help in caucuses

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For the first time Monday night we'll actually hear from voters as they hold their caucuses in the state of Iowa. (WPVI)

Monday night is the first time the country will actually hear from voters as they hold their caucuses in the state of Iowa.

For the candidates, it's about meeting or exceeding expectations - especially for candidates who have been there before,

Hillary Clinton, who lost to Barack Obama in 2008, is obviously hoping to do better this time around. And on the Republic side, candidates like Mike Huckabee or Rick Santorum, who won their respective caucuses but did not secure the nomination.

What is new to the caucuses this year is how the results will be shared among the media and public.

Over the weekend, members of the media from all over the country and the world converged on the small town of Des Moines, and most of them will be working from a high-tech broadcast center, where the caucus results will come in throughout the night.

A huge electronic billboard will display the voting results, sent in from Iowa's 99 counties and more than 1,600 precincts.

TV and radio reporters will, of course, relay the information, and for the first time there's even a closed in studio for reporters who choose to use Skype.

Des Moines may be a sleepy little Midwestern town when it's not in the political spotlight, but it will use cutting edge technology to transmit caucus results throughout the evening.

A special app was created so that precinct officials can send results to party headquarters instantly, and according to Microsoft, securely.

In past caucuses they had to rely on a slower system of telephones and the U.S. Mail, but not anymore.

App developer Rodney Guzman explains, "This information is not just spilling out to the public. The parties have the opportunity to review it, make sure it's correct, have easy access to call back the precinct captains in making sure that everything's correct with the information before it gets released out to the public."

And so the Iowa Caucuses have come a long way in the digital age. But as always the wait is on for the results.

More from Rick Williams in Iowa:

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It?s the last weekend before the Iowa caucus, and candidates in both parties are making a last minute push for votes.

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politicsu.s. & worldpoliticsiowa caucuseselection day
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