What is a Caucus?
The word Caucus comes from an Indian word meaning 'meeting'. Colorado is one of 13 states that have Caucuses to begin the process of determining which candidates end up on the Primary ballots for each party. It is considered to be a highly grassroots process since it allows for a small group of neighbors to select someone from their neighborhood (or more accurately, precinct) to vote on their behalf at the relevant assemblies. These delegates are charged with learning about the candidates and then voting on who they would like to see on the Primary ballot. They are often given ample opportunity to get to know the candidates intimately as any candidate with a primary challenger will be actively seeking their votes.
During Presidential years, each precinct will also conduct a Presidential straw poll. This informal vote is non binding and only serves as a general indicator as to which candidates have support among caucus goers as well as their elected delegations.
The Republican Party Platform actually has a very humble beginning at the neighborhood caucus. Attendees discuss and vote on resolutions which have a chance of becoming a part of the Party Platform. If you want to weigh in on the platform, it is essential you attend your caucus.
The Caucus is also the time when Republicans will elect up to two Precinct Committeepersons to represent them within the Party structure. It is also the best time to meet your like minded neighbors and become more involved in the party.
The process is governed partly by the state and partly by the political parties at the state and county levels. It isn’t difficult to understand, but can be confusing because each party and even each county can do things a bit differently. However, a Jefferson County voter only needs to understand how the election process works here. Follow this link to explore each basic element of the Jefferson County Republican Party election and Caucus process. DEFINITIONS
What might you do at your caucus?
- Elect Precinct Committeepeople
- Elect Delegations to the County, House, Senate, Congressional and State Assemblies*
- Volunteer to help the party with upcoming campaigns
- Sign up to be an Election Judge
- Discuss and vote on resolutions that may become the Platform
- Vote in a Presidential Straw Poll
Each caucus is open to Republicans registered as such in their precinct as of December 7, 2011. Click here to read the statute and exceptions to this requirement.
Note: The caucus is free but there may be fees associated with Delegate and Alternate positions to defer costs of assembly. These fees vary by assembly but range from $3 - $60. If you are elected to one or more assemblies, all fees must be paid on caucus night.
*Your House and Senate District, if wholly contained within Jeffco, will be held within the County Assembly. Therefore the County delegation will also be your Senate and House district delegation. Only SD16 and HD1 will hold a separate, multi-county assembly which requires an independent delegation to be elected.