Iowa Democrats wanted to allow some caucusgoers to vote by phone next year, but committee leaders concluded that such a system would not be secure. They plan to give the state, and Nevada, waivers from new party rules.

CreditCreditCharlie Neibergall/Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Democratic National Committee said Friday it would recommend exemptions to Iowa and Nevada that would allow them to avoid new guidelines requiring caucus states to allow remote participation without attending a caucus event. The waivers avert, for now, a showdown over voting rules between the committee and early caucus states.

The proposed waivers, which are expected to be approved by the party’s powerful rules and bylaws committee, come after D.N.C. leadership signaled it would block plans to allow some caucusgoers in Iowa and Nevada to vote by phone next year, bowing to security concerns about the process being hacked, according to four people with knowledge of the decision.

The committee’s announcement serves as a major setback to Democrats who have long hoped to expand the caucus-state electorate beyond those voters able to attend a winter-night gathering for several hours.

“People who believe in democracy and believe that people who are working or physically challenged should be able to participate are screwed by this decision,” said Larry Cohen, a D.N.C. member from Maryland who has long advocated allowing absentee participation in caucuses.

Mr. Cohen, who was a senior official on the 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign, said Friday that Iowa and Nevada still have time to create a system to participate in caucuses by mail.

With five months to go before Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses, it was not clear what alternatives the state’s Democrats have to allow absentee participation. Troy Price, the Iowa Democratic Party chairman, said he would “explore what alternatives may exist to securely increase accessibility from previous years given the time allowed.”

“Regardless of today’s news, we remain confident the 2020 Iowa Caucuses will be our best yet, and set the standard for years to come,” Mr. Price said.

In August 2018, D.N.C. members voted to adopt new rules for the 2020 presidential primary that encouraged states that held caucuses to switch to primaries and required caucus states to allow for a form of participation that did not require attending an event. Other reforms includedreducing the power of the party’s superdelegates.

The D.N.C. rules preserved Iowa’s place at the front of the presidential nominating calendar, but in New Hampshire, whose state constitution requires it to hold the first presidential primary, officials are highly sensitive to Iowa’s moves to alter its caucus in ways that make it appear more like a primary.

Iowa Democrats said Friday that they feared mailing absentee paper ballots for their caucus would lead the New Hampshire secretary of state, Bill Gardner, to jump his state ahead of Iowa on the presidential calendar. Mr. Gardner has sole authority to set the date of New Hampshire’s primary.

The presidential campaigns had spent months training their Iowa volunteers to recruit supporters to participate in the phone caucuses. Now they must revert to how Iowa caucus campaigns have been run for generations, persuading people to attend in-person events on a cold February night.

Julian Castro, the former secretary of housing and urban development, called the decision to abandon phone caucuses “an affront to the principles of our democracy.”

“As I’ve campaigned in every corner of Iowa, I’ve heard from teachers, home care workers, nurses, single parents, shift workers, and senior citizens who tell me the same thing: One night of caucusing is not enough,” Mr. Castro said Friday.

Iowa Democrats, along with party officials in other states, face a Sept. 13 deadline for the D.N.C. to approve plans for their presidential primaries and caucuses. Iowa’s caucuses are scheduled to be held Feb. 3.

The Iowa Democrats were proposing a plan that would have allowed voters not attending a traditional caucus to register their preference during one of six “virtual caucuses” over the phone. But D.N.C. security officials told the rules committee at a closed-door session in San Francisco last week that they had “no confidence” such a system could remain safe from hostile hackers.

The D.N.C.’s leadership concluded that the technology that exists is not secure and poses too large a risk of interference from a foreign adversary, according to officials with knowledge of the deliberations. Several presidential campaigns expressed concern to top party officials that Iowa’s results could be compromised, people familiar with the discussions said Thursday.

The rules and bylaws committee has the power to approve state plans for primaries and caucuses.

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The Democratic caucuses in Iowa can be hourslong affairs on often snowy winter nights. The state’s caucus rules require a candidate to receive support from at least 15 percent of the voters in the room; backers of candidates who fail to meet the 15 percent threshold are then freed to choose a different candidate. This leads to haggling and horse-trading between campaigns and places a premium on being a caucusgoer’s second or even third choice.

Party forces allied with Hillary Clinton have argued for years that states should shift from caucuses to primaries — or at least make the caucus process more accessible to people who cannot attend in person.

Nine states that held Democratic presidential caucuses in 2016 — Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Utah and Washington — haveswitched to primariesfor 2020 at the urging of the D.N.C.

Six other states, including early-voting Iowa and Nevada, will continue to hold caucuses in 2020.

Mrs. Clinton, whose 2008 presidential bid was upended by her third-place finish in Iowa, and who nearly lost the state to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in 2016, had long been a public skeptic of Iowa’s show-up-to-caucus system.

“You know, there were a lot of people who couldn’t caucus tonight, despite the very large turnout,” Mrs. Clintonsaid the night she lost the 2008 Iowa caucusesto Barack Obama. “There

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