Precinct Caucuses: What to Expect, How to Participate Effectively

Precinct Caucuses: What to Expect, How to Participate Effectively

A nonpartisan presentation on what to expect and how to participate effectively in next month's precinct caucuses will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, in the Koch Commons Fireside Lounge.

Joshua Winters, public policy associate, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, will discuss what happens at a precinct caucus, how to find your local precinct meeting, and how this major statewide event can impact political party platforms and candidate nominations.

Precinct caucuses are a citizen-friendly, hands-on way to get involved and have your voice heard. Representatives from the university will be present to answer questions.

How the major political parties organize caucus activity will be covered if time and interest allows.

About the Caucuses

Minnesota’s three major political parties, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor, Independence, and Republican parties, will hold precinct caucuses on Tuesday, Feb. 5. The Constitution Party will caucus on Saturday, Feb. 2, and the Green Party will caucus on Tuesday, March 4. These caucuses are the first step used by Minnesota's political parties to select the candidates and issues they will support in the 2008 elections.

While at a caucus, participants will elect delegates and alternates to attend the parties' conventions held later in the year to determine which candidates will receive that party's endorsement. Caucuses also provide a forum for participants to voice their views on political issues, and a place for other candidates for elected office to build support.

Students are encouraged to participate in the Minnesota precinct caucuses. Precinct caucuses are open to the public, but to participate in the caucus, you must be eligible to vote in the November 4, 2008, state general election.

You are eligible to vote in the election if you:

  • are at least 18 years of age,
  • are a U.S. citizen,
  • are a Minnesota resident for at least 20 days before the election,
  • have been convicted of a felony and your felony sentence has expired (been completed) or you have been discharged from your sentence,
  • are not under a guardianship in which the court order revokes the ward's right to vote,
  • are not legally incompetent.

Find your caucus location here.