I recently wrote an article regarding the Idaho Republican Party Caucus elections
and learned a lot of details that I feel are important to share as widely as possible.
I know I don't normally, really ever,
get in to anything political here on the blog,
but I think this matters so here it is.
I've edited the article a titch and am including it here in this post below...
Obviously this applies specifically to Idahoans, but maybe it'll help anyone from elsewhere too :)
If you don't want to read the whole thing, the takeaway is this:
- If you want to have a voice regarding who will be up against Obama in November, you need to CLICK HERE to find your county's Caucus election information and go vote on Tuesday, March 6!
- The May Primary Election we are used to here in Idaho will not include selection of presidential candidates.
- It goes without saying that you need to be a registered Republican to participate. (I don't know that Stephen and I are!) So, if that's the case with you also, you can get the voter registration card HERE- printing and filling it out to take with you (along with photo ID) on March 6th will save some time!
- There are lots of other important and interesting details, so if our next President is anything you care about -and you know you do, at least to some degree- then, read on!
Thanks for stickin' with me while I go outside of the ordinary-hopefully it will be helpful!
New Idaho Republican Caucus Turns Idaho into ‘Big Prize’
Idaho Republican Caucus events being held in each county across the state on Tuesday, March 6, mark a historical first for the State of Idaho. In years past, Idaho has held only a Primary election during a presidential race year. But for 2012, Idaho will join ten other states holding Caucus elections on “Super Tuesday.”
This change gives the Gem State a much more viable voice regarding which current Republican Party candidate will face President Barack Obama this November. Each of Idaho’s 44 counties will simultaneously host caucus events the evening of March 6, 2012.
“This is an exciting year for Republicans and for Idaho,” Madison County Republican Party Chair Elaine King said. “The thing that is so exciting is that we didn’t know up front we’d have so many delegates. When we saw we had more than so many other states, we realized that Idaho could really be making a difference.”
In speaking of delegates, King is referring to the 32 representatives Idaho will have at the Republican National Convention to be held in August. Each state hosting a Caucus is allowed delegates based on state population. Barring that the state chooses not to hold their Caucus election prior to March 6, then that state has a collective voice that speaks in favor of the presidential candidate winning at least 50-percent of the Caucus vote. States that hold Caucus elections prior to March 6, like Iowa and Florida, forfeit 50-percent of their delegates as a result.
One notable stipulation of the new Idaho Caucus is that Idaho delegates will be bound to cast their vote at the National Republican Convention for the presidential candidate that earns at least 50-percent of the vote on March 6. In some states, including Iowa, delegates are not actually required to cast their national vote for the candidate who won in their home state. The candidate whom will be determined to be the Republican presidential contender at the National Convention in August will have to earn at least 1,044 delegate votes to become so.
“Major networks like CNN, FOX and MSNBC have been contacting Republican Party leaders in Boise,” King said. “They see the delegate numbers and realize that Idaho is a big prize.”
In order for their names to be considered in the Caucus election, presidential candidates must have paid a $2,000 fee by February 5. King said that all four candidates, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum, have already paid and thus will be in the running for votes March 6.
Idaho Caucus elections are open to all voters registered as Republicans, though they won’t find the typical polling booths and metal boxes. “It’ll be more of a meeting, an event,” King said.
Many counties will hold raffles and giveaways, as well as have food and music as part of the Caucus election. Around the state, voters can begin registering as Republicans as early as 4:00 p.m. Voting will begin at 7:00 p.m.
Several different styles of voting will be used during Caucus elections, including paper ballots or voting tokens. Republicans attending can use the method of voting to select first, second and third round choices for presidential candidate. The votes will be cast and collected publically, as well as counted on the spot. Any candidate receiving less that 15-percent of votes will be removed from the running. If one candidate gets 50-percent of the vote in the initial count, no additional rounds will take place. If not, second round votes will then be counted for those voters that had chosen the loosing candidate. The process will continue until a candidate receives 50-percent of the vote.
Voters should note that presidential candidates will not appear on Primary Election ballots in May. Tuesday, March 6, will be the only day that Idaho citizens have the opportunity to cast their vote for who will ultimately represent the Republican Party in the 2012 presidential race.