Idaho’s Turn Coming Up: Idaho Democratic Political Director on Caucus

After the exciting contest in Iowa this week, Idaho Democrats are eager to weigh in.

While you can show up at your County Caucus on March 22nd remember doors close promptly at 6pm Pacific Time and 7pm Mountain Time.

If you reserve your seat TODAY you can skip the long lines!

Here’s Idaho Democratic Party Political Director Tom Hamilton talking about this exciting event to KTVB News:

WATCH STORY

Idaho Democrats and Republicans are ready to have their say in the process.

Shannon Camp | KTVB News | February 02, 2016

BOISE — In Idaho, Democrats and Republicans are gearing up for their first chance to cast votes in this 2016 presidential race.

“As spirited as this contest seems to be every delegate will count and this could go on for some time,” said KTVB political analyst Dr. Jim Weatherby.

For the Democrats that chance will come on March 22 when they will hold county caucuses to decide which candidate will earn the party’s 27 delegates.

3x4 300dpi Tom Hamilton 775“There is this ongoing phenomenon of states trying to jump ahead in the primary season,” said Tom Hamilton, the political director for the Idaho Democratic Party. “The democratic caucus is open to anyone, so whether you’re a registered Republican, unaffiliated, Democrat, you’re welcome to participate in our caucus so long as you haven’t participated in the Republican primary process.”

For the minority party, a presidential candidate needs at least 15 percent support in the county caucuses to win delegates.

“There’s a first round of voting where you say I’m still undecided. And then, there’s a second round of voting where folks will come forward, make speeches and try to persuade you to vote for their candidate,” said Hamilton. “It’s very interactive and very exciting.”

The Idaho Democratic Party will announce its caucus locations on February 15

In 2012, the Idaho Republican Party also held caucuses to decide its presidential nominee. But this year the party says it’s going back to a traditional primary election, partly because it is easier for voters to navigate.

“It was logistically challenging,” said Dave Johnston, the executive director for the Idaho Republican Party. “It was a burden on our voters who were able to participate but it excluded a lot of people from being able to participate.”

Johnston said those people included active military members, the sick, the elderly and people serving missions.

“We did have some record breaking turnouts at our caucuses, but even with those records caucus turnouts are just much lower,” said Johnston.

Idaho Republicans have 32 delegates at stake in the presidential primary on March 8, that’s more than Iowa and New Hampshire. Both parties hope that moving the primary events up in the calendar will bring more meaning to the ballots that are cast.

“Idaho is interested in being in the national spotlight and not just having a beauty contest or have the primary in May but be the focus of some national attention, and that may very well work out in this year,” said Weatherby.

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