Caucusing 101

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Super Tuesday has arrived. Coloradans will join 23 other states in choosing who they think should win the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations. With the rare chance for the state to play such an important role in the process, local party leaders are excited.

"There's a lot of fresh blood out there," said Gary Roahrig, Chair of the Mesa County Republicans. "People that haven't been involved before are getting re-activated."

So just how do the caucuses work?

To participate, you must be a registered member of the Democratic or Republican party, and you must have registered to vote by December 5, 2007. Then you have to attend your precinct meeting Tuesday night.

"I think if you want to be part of the process of choosing the candidate this is where you have to start," said Mary Beth Pyle, Chair of the Mesa County Democrats. "Otherwise you're allowing other people to select the candidate for you."

At each precinct meeting, you'll be asked to do two things. You'll choose delegates to represent you at your party's county assembly, which will take place in a few weeks. A delegate can be anyone who comes to the precinct meeting.

Then, you'll choose who you want your party to support for president.

If you're a Republican, you'll write down the name of your favorite candidate on a piece of paper. Those votes will be collected at each precinct meeting and will be counted by the county chair. He will then report the results to the state party chair Tuesday night.

Democrats will have caucus goers stand in different corners of the room. One corner will be for Clinton supporters, the other will be for Obama supporters. To receive votes, a candidate's corner must receive support from at least 15 percent of the total number of people at the precinct meeting. Then the precinct will be asked to choose their delegates. Whichever candidate that delegate supports receives a vote. The delegates' votes are then collected by the county chair and are reported to the state chair Tuesday night.

The caucuses begin at 7:00pm on Tuesday night. Party leaders are asking caucus goers to be at their precinct meetings by 6:45pm. To find your precinct location or to learn more about the two local parties, click on one of the links below.