For years, critics have complained that the Iowa process makes it impossible for people who cannot show up on caucus night at a precinct location to make their voices heard. Critics have also complained that the process takes too long.

But the virtual caucus plan also was intended to work with New Hampshire, which follows Iowa in the presidential nominating process and has long balked at any changes that make Iowa’s caucuses look too much like its primary.

New Hampshire law allows its secretary of state to change the date of its primary so that it precedes any other state’s primary by at least one week. As long as Iowa holds a caucus and doesn’t veer too far into primary territory, it can maintain its coveted position as “first in the nation” ahead of New Hampshire and other early-voting states.

Now, though, Iowa’s party officials may need to present a new plan to accommodate the DNC’s mandates. The DNC has said it will act on each state’s plan by Sept. 13.