Lacey Smith

Caucus Questions Answered!

In Uncategorized on March 17, 2014 at 4:35 pm

I’ve received a number of questions asking about the upcoming Utah caucuses.

Utah’s democrats will hold their caucus on Tuesday, March 18. Utah’s republicans caucus on Thursday, March 20. The Constitution Party of Utah will also hold a caucus a week after that, Thursday, March 27th.

Special thanks to Kristen Chevrier, Education Officer for the Utah County Republican Party and Heather Williamson, Western States Director at FreedomWorks for this information!

What is a precinct caucus?

  • Neighbors come together for a meeting. They elect precinct leaders to represent them within the Party and they elect delegates to represent them at conventions. (The neighbors do not vote for state representatives, senators, or any other partisan elected officials at the caucus.)
    • Each precinct is allocated at least one state and one county delegate seat. Additional seats are allocated based on voting activity within the precinct.

What happens after the caucus?

  • After the caucus is over, but before the conventions, the delegates are expected to vet the candidates by speaking with and listening to the candidates at meet-the-candidate events, and conversing with them by email, at cottage meetings, and by phone, to discuss views on issues. The delegates study the candidates in order to select the best representation for the Party.

What is a delegate? Delegates are the foundation of Utahʼs political structure. They do the “leg work” for citizens, representing their precinct at their respective convention. Delegates are unpaid and do the hard work of representing a precinct, allowing the “rest of us” to go about out lives.

What should I expect at the nominating conventions*?

  • Those elected as county delegates will attend their county conventions. Counties nominate candidates for County Commission (or County Council), Assessor, Attorney, Clerk/Auditor, Recorder, Sheriff, Surveyor, Treasurer, and State Representatives and Senate seats that are fully contained within the county.
  • Those elected as state delegates will attend the state conventions. This year state delegates nominate candidates for Congress, United States Senate, Attorney General, State Senate, State Representative (where Senate or House Districts cross county lines).
  • At the conventions, delegates vote for candidates. If the choice is so clear, in any given race, that one candidate gets the vote of more than 60% of the delegates, there is no primary. If no candidate gets 60% in a given race, there is a primary between the two top candidates.
  • Delegates may also be asked to vote on rule changes and resolutions.
  • Bring a lunch and some water and plan to spend most of the day at your convention.

Why should I participate? The caucus is where your voice in the political process is strongest. The caucus system is the antidote to a money-driven primary system. The caucus is grassroots representation at its best. And you are the grassroots. You can visit http://keepourcaucus.com/ for more information.

Who can participate? Those who will be at least 18 by the time of the next General Election, live in the precinct, and are registered Republicans can participate. Anyone may register and/or affiliate at the caucus.

Where will my caucus will be held? Ask your precinct chair or go visit the Utah Republican Party web site or the Utah Democrat Party site

How do I find my precinct? Visit the Utah Republican Party web site or the Utah Democrat Party site.

You can Pre-register to attend and/or file to run online at the Republican caucus: Utah GOP Caucus Night

What if I am unable to attend? You can cast an absentee ballot and send it with a family member or neighbor. Check with your precinct chair to learn the procedure. (For religious and military ballots, requests must be submitted at least 72 hours before the beginning of the caucus – that means TONIGHT.)

Will current initiatives or legislation affect this year’s caucuses? No. Some changes have already been made by the State Party, but initiatives and legislation now in process will not affect caucuses this year.

Where can I find more information? http://utgop.org/ or http://www.utahdemocrats.org/caucusnight

What if I want to be a delegate? Leave a comment below or email RightsAndReason@gmail.com. We’ll get you more training information! There’s also an online training happening tomorrow night. More information can be found here: Caucus Training

It’s not too late to decide that you want to be involved in your caucus. If you’re not registered YOU CAN REGISTER AT THE CAUCUS and you can decide to be a candidate as late as at your caucus meeting.

Caucuses are the most basic level of republican government (not the party but the form of government). It is critically important that you go!

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