KTVB's Kim Fields walks us through the caucus process

Credit: Paul Boehlke/KTVB

KTVB's Kim Fields walks us through the caucus process

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by Kim Fields

Bio | Email | Follow: @KimFieldsKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 12 at 5:34 AM

BOISE -- Ada County Republicans have been preparing for Super Tuesday's caucus for months.  All 44 counties in the Gem State will make history tonight, as it is the first GOP caucus in Idaho.

"We are so excited about this.  We're just thrilled and anxious and excited to get this going," said Dwight Johnson, Chairman of Ada County Republican Party.

The doors at Taco Bell Arena on the Boise State campus will open at 4 p.m. Tuesday.  The caucus will begin at 7 p.m.

Johnson says voters must be registered Republican to caucus.  If voters haven't registered yet, they can do so at the doors.  Johnson says no photo ID is required; simply fill out a form and sign it.

Ada County's caucus will begin with speeches from representatives of each Republican presidential candidate.  They will be given five minutes to speak on stage.

Then the voting process begins.  Voters will line up at voting booths and be handed a token before they enter.  Four secured buckets will be placed on tables inside the voting booths, one for each candidate.  Voters will drop their tokens into their favorite candidate's secured bucket.

Once everyone has voted, representatives from the Ada County Republican Party will count the tokens on stage.
 
Johnson says the candidate who receives 15 percent of the votes or the least amount of votes will be eliminated.  The voting process will then continue with voting rounds until one candidate receives a simple majority.

Johnson explains what happens if a voter's favorite candidate has been eliminated.

"Then you'll have to choose to vote for someone else or not participate, that's up to you.  And that's where the fun comes in as far as that dynamic of who's your second choice if your first choice gets dropped off," said Johnson.

In between voting rounds, other voters may try to persuade the undecided voters.  Also in between voting rounds, the remaining candidates' representatives will be allowed to speak again for two minutes to win more votes.

Republican volunteer Ty Palmer says caucusing is part of the participatory, democratic process.

"For political nerds like myself, it's like Christmas.  We look forward to major political events, especially presidential campaigns every four years."

Ada County representatives have no idea how long Tuesday's caucus will last.  And the party has no idea how many people will show up. They expect it to be in the thousands.

Johnson says voters are encouraged to leave children at home. Voters, however, will not be turned away if they bring children.

Voters are also encouraged to limit personal belongings.

Concessions will be available at the Taco Bell Arena. 

Parking will be available in the football and arena parking lots, as well as the Lincoln parking garage next to the Student Union Building.  Shuttles will ferry voters to and from Taco Bell Arena.
 

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