Show up March 22nd between 5 and 6 pm MST. Doors will close promptly at 7pm MST/6pm PST and no admittance will be allowed after that time.
What is a Caucus?
The Caucus is a meeting of voters in your county to select Idaho’s choice for President. It’s a lively event with people speaking on behalf of their candidate and actual debate and discussion amongst friends and neighbors before the final vote is held. At caucus you also get to select the delegates who will go on to represent your candidate at the State Convention in Boise June 16-19.
Why does Idaho Caucus?
Idaho has a long tradition of holding caucuses. Recently this has become confusing as the GOP politicians in the legislature have been changing Idaho’s voting and primary laws. Idaho Democrats did not support the decision to move Presidential primaries into March which cost the people of Idaho millions of dollars. We continue to hold an independent and Party funded Presidential Caucus.
Who can Caucus?
Idaho’s Caucus is a very open process. If you will be eligible to vote in the November 8th elections, then you ARE eligible to caucus! That means you don’t have to be registered yet, or even 18 years old yet, as long as you will be by the general election. How cool! You do have to attend in person (no absentee or proxy voting) and live in the county you’re caucusing in. (P.S. You can’t vote in the Caucus if you are voting in the nominating process of any other political party. Gotta pick a team!)
How do I Caucus?
First, you visit idahodems.org/caucus in order to reserve your seat and find out where your caucus is being held. Reserving a seat online isn’t mandatory, just a very good idea! Then you show up EARLY on caucus day (like 5-6pm MST, 4-5pm PST) because there will probably be lines. There will actually be lots of instructions at the caucus, so the main thing is to listen carefully and enjoy the process.
How do I go to the National Convention?
The first step is at the county caucus. After voting you can ask your fellow (Insert candidate name here) supporters to choose you as a delegate to the state convention. Try to be persuasive OR bring friends to support you! At state convention you repeat the process and if you’re lucky you could be elected to be a delegate to the national convention!
How Do I Caucus?
If you’re able, reserve your caucus seat at idahodem.org/caucus to get in the fast lane. Otherwise just show up on March 22nd between 5 and 6 pm MST (between 4 and 5pm PST) because doors will close promptly at 7pm MST/6pm PST and no admittance will be allowed after that time.
The first thing you do at the caucus is complete your pledge form indicating that you’re choosing to participate in the Democratic nominating process and which candidate you initially prefer. Don’t worry, you can change your mind later, if you want!
Optionally, you can submit your name as a delegate to the state and/or national convention via our State Declaration of Delegate Candidacy Form. This just means that your name will be one of the one’s people may choose during the evening as a representative for your candidate at the convention.
Now you’re ready to enter the caucus floor. As you do so, you will go to a special area for people that support the same candidate as you (or no candidate). This is called your sub-caucus. There should be a sub-caucus chair who will greet you and take your pledge card.
While you’re gathered in your sub-caucus the pledge cards will be counted and you will receive instructions about how the caucus will proceed.
At 7pm MT/6pm PT, the doors will close and the process will begin. After instructions and patriotic ceremonies, there will be speakers on behalf of all the candidates. After a few minutes for general discussion and debate, the first vote will be held.
If the speakers have persuaded you, you may go to a different sub-caucus and give your completed ballot to that sub-caucus chair. The sub-caucus chair will turn the ballots in to be counted.
Results will be announced and there’s an important rule. Any group that doesn’t have 15% of the vote, will not be allowed to elect delegates. Please pay attention to this rule if you want to be part of a group that elects delegates but don’t worry that you’ve missed your chance because there is another round of voting!
But first, more speeches, more debate and then the vote. As before, move to the sub-caucus of the candidate you wish to vote for and give your ballot to the sub-caucus chair. They will deliver them to the counting area. This might be your final chance to pick a candidate that has more than 15% of the vote.
Once the results of round 2 are announced, the caucus chair will decide if we need to add a third round of voting or if we are ready to proceed to electing delegates. A third round of voting will look exactly like the other two.
The results of the final round of voting will determine how many delegates each sub-caucus gets to send to the state convention. Since each county gets a different number of delegates (based on population) the delegates will be awarded proportionally to the sub-caucuses based on their size.
The number of delegates received by each sub-caucus will be announced. Then the sub-caucus gets to vote on which members will go as delegates to the state convention June 16-19. Sub-caucuses must choose delegates and alternates, so each person gets to vote for exactly twice the number of delegates that were awarded to their sub-caucus. So if your sub-caucus earned 4 delegates, vote for 8. Just be sure to list them on your delegate ballot in your order of preference. Delegate candidates will get 1-2 minutes to speak before the voting.
Once all voting is done, the sub-caucus chair will tally the results and announce them to the sub-caucus, then deliver the results to the Caucus Chair. Once the Chair has received the results, they will conclude the Caucus process and invite anyone with a grievance to complete the Idaho Democratic Party Delegate Selection Appeals Form.
That’s it for the caucus! Volunteers will stay after to convey the results to the Idaho Democratic Party and clean up. Thank you for participating!