The first in the nation Iowa caucuses are Monday night. Both Marion County Democratic Chair Megan Suhr and Marion County Republican Chair T. Waldmann-Williams tell KNIA/KRLS News it’s important to get out and help determine who should be the next president.
Waldmann-Williams says the caucuses are grassroots democracy in action, and Suhr says it’s an honor and a privilege for Iowans.
Here is some information regarding local caucuses Monday night.
Republicans in Pella, Otley, or Lake Prairie, will caucus at Pella High School. All other Republicans will gather at Knoxville High School. Democrats in the city of Pella and Lake Prairie will gather in the Graham Conference Center at Central College, and in Otley, at the old Otley School. Knoxville and Knoxville Township Democrats will go to Knoxville Middle School. Other caucus sites for Democrats are the Harvey Community Center, Melcher-Dallas High School, Pershing Community Center, Twin Cedars High School, Pleasantville High School, and the Columbia Community Center. Doors close at 7PM.
Below are some common questions people have about caucusing in Iowa. Here’s what you need to know to be ready for Monday, Feb. 1:
1. Do I have to be registered with a political party to participate? Yes you do. You have to be either a registered Republican or Democrat to participate in the Iowa Caucuses.
2. Can I register on Caucus Night? Yes, but please arrive at least 30 minutes early. You will need to bring a photo ID as well as a postmarked envelope with your name and address. Utility bills work best.
3. Can I vote if I live out of state? For students this is an excellent question. If you live in Iowa and another state, you can register to vote in Iowa, but you cannot vote in both states. You have to choose one. Just bring your photo ID as well as a postmarked envelope to prove that you have a residency in Iowa.
4. Do I have to be there by a certain time to vote? Yes. Caucuses are set to begin at 7:00 p.m., and you need to be there before then. We recommend that you arrive at least a half hour early.
5. Do I caucus at the same place that I vote? Not necessarily. Unlike elections, caucuses are organized by the Democrat and Republican Parties. They set their caucus locations. It is important that you visit the website of your political party to know where to caucus.
6. Will I have to speak at my caucus? No, you do not have to speak, but you are welcome to do so.
7. When is the presidential vote? The presidential poll takes place towards the beginning of the caucus at the Republican caucuses. Democrats begin with their first alignment of voters and then there’s a chance to realign if a candidate isn’t viable. For your
8. How long will the caucuses last? They will last for about an hour.
9. Can I leave after I vote for president? Yes, you are welcome to leave following the presidential poll.
10. What do I need to bring? Make sure you bring your photo ID. Some caucus chairs may require them. They are also needed if you are not currently registered or if your registration is not up to date or you need to change political parties. Also, bring a pencil to fill out your ballot.
11. How do I know where to go? Caucuses are organized by the political parties, which means you need BOTH your precinct number AND the caucus location assigned by your political party of choice. The Iowa Secretary of State created a website to walk you through that two-step process, which you can access by clicking here.
12. What day are the Caucuses held? Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. Arrive at least 30 minutes early.
13. Can I go just to observe the caucuses? Yes. There may be a special visitor section at your caucus location.
14. What if I am not 18, but I am going to be by election day: Can I participate? Yes, you can. If you are 18 years old by Election Day, Nov. 8.