Elections

Idaho Democratic caucuses are March 22; here’s what you need to know

Olympian Michelle Kwan speaks at Hillary for Idaho Event in Boise, Idaho

Two-time Olympic medalist and Hillary Clinton aide Michelle Kwan spoke to approximately 150 Hillary for Idaho volunteers and supporters in the Hatch A Ballroom on the campus of Boise State University in Boise, Idaho.
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Two-time Olympic medalist and Hillary Clinton aide Michelle Kwan spoke to approximately 150 Hillary for Idaho volunteers and supporters in the Hatch A Ballroom on the campus of Boise State University in Boise, Idaho.

Democrats in Idaho will caucus through the state Tuesday. A list of locations is here. Five pairs of counties are sharing caucus locations.

Caucuses start, and doors close, at 7 p.m. in Mountain time zones, 6 p.m. in Pacific time zones. Party officials recommend that attendees arrive at least an hour early to check in.

To find a location or learn more, visit the Idaho Democrats caucus page.

What goes on at the caucus?

Voters meet to debate on and select a Democratic presidential candidate and select delegates to represent that candidate at the state party convention in Boise in June. There are 384 county-level delegate seats up for grabs. Idaho Democrats will send 27 delegates and two alternates to the national nominating convention in Philadelphia in July.

Who can participate?

Any eligible voter, regardless of party affiliation, who did not vote in the March 8 Republican primary, can caucus in the county where they reside. This includes 17-year-olds who will be 18 by Election Day, Nov. 8.

Candidates for delegate must fill out a candidate form by 5:30 p.m. Mountain time Tuesday.

How do I participate?

Reservations are highly recommended, but you can just show up. Reserving in advance will cut your check-in time. You must be present to vote.

How will qualifications be checked?

The motto is trust, but verify. The party won’t check registrations, IDs, proof of address or party affiliation in advance, but will ask you to sign an affidavit that you meet eligibility requirements. That’s the trust part. As for verify, the party will check caucus attendee records against the list of voters in the March 8 GOP primary when it’s final.

How long does the caucus last?

Most caucuses will last a minimum of two hours. At least two ballots will be called, and possibly a third, in each location.

Can I just come watch?

Yes, room permitting. Caucuses are open to the public, but observers might be turned away if space is needed to accommodate caucus participants.

What’s on the ballot?

Those caucusing have four choices, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, San Diego businessman Rocky De La Fuente or uncommitted. Participants can switch as the evening progresses.

How are delegates awarded?

After the each round of voting, candidates who don’t get at least 15 percent of the total vote will be dropped from contention. After the final vote, delegates will be awarded proportionally to any candidate who has received at least 15 percent. A coin-toss will settle any ties.

Bill Dentzer: 208-377-6438, @IDSBillD

Sanders to visit; no word on Clinton

Sen. Bernie Sanders will hold a rally Monday at Taco Bell Arena. Doors will open at 9 a.m.

The rally is free to the public, but attendees are asked to RSVP (find a link at IdahoStatesman.com). The campaign asks that people not bring bags, weapons, sharp objects, chairs or signs or banners on sticks.

Sanders will also stop in Idaho Falls Friday for a rally at Skyline High School, 1767 Blue Sky Drive. Doors open at 8:30 a.m.

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