Caucusing Basics for Student Voters

January 31, 2020

Eligible voters in Iowa will be able to caucus on Monday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. at their precinct locations for their party. 

 

To find your caucusing location, put your address into the following link based on your party affiliation:

 

https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/voterreg/pollingplace/search.aspx 

 

In order to be able to caucus, you must be registered with the party of the caucus you are attending. You can update your party affiliation by registering to vote, which is outlined in a previous article:

 

https://www.bettgrowl.org/single-post/2019/10/03/Registration-for-voting-has-begun

 

Caucusing is a unique system conducted by only 10 states in the United States used to determine the political parties’ primary candidate. 

 

Rather than casting a ballot for your candidate of choice, a caucus involves discussing with supporters of all candidates about each one’s plan. Voters determine their vote by standing near their candidate of choice’s group. 

 

A caucus goes through rounds to eliminate candidates until the precinct’s votes are properly proportioned. If they are eliminated, they are able to stand with another candidate. This system allows for everyone’s vote to be heard and gives second chances for each voter’s decision.

 

To practice this complex and beneficial system, Bettendorf High School held a mock caucus on Thursday, Jan. 23, during PRIDE Time. 

 

Mrs. Ahrens, AP Government teacher, set up the caucus to help students of both parties understand the process. Both Democratic and Republican candidates were involved in the mock caucus. Trump won the votes for the Republicans, and Sanders, Buttigeg, Yang, and Biden were the frontrunners for the Democrats. 

 

Additionally, students were able to register to vote on Friday, Jan. 24, throughout the day at a voter registration table in an effort to increase young voters’ involvement in the upcoming election.

 Aiden Hamilton engages in the school's mock caucus.

 

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