The Republican Caucus will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 5, at various locations in Kansas. It is by secret ballot and any registered Republican can vote.
Barton County Republican Chairman Richard Friedeman encourages party members to come early and bring their photo identification to the Crest Theater at 1905 Lakin Ave. in Great Bend. The doors will open at 9 a.m. and volunteers will need time to check registrations. There will be a meeting at 10 a.m., which he expects will last 30 to 45 minutes.
“Words will be said on behalf of candidates,” he said. Ballots can be cast until 2 p.m.
Other area Republicans will gather at Larned High School, Lyons Federal Bank in Lyons, the Barbed Wire Museum Conference Room in La Crosse, the Stafford County Courthouse Annex in St. John, Dream Theater in Russell, Kinsley City Hall and the Ellsworth County Courthouse.
There will be eight names on the ballot: Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Donald J. Trump and Uncommitted. They are listed here in alphabetical order but the order will be rotated on ballots. Some of the candidates have dropped out since the ballots were printed.
The caucus is more than a “beauty contest” for presidential candidates, Friedeman said.
“This actually controls who the delegates vote for.”
The National Republican Party pick its presidential candidate at the National Convention in Cleveland, July 18-22. At total of 2,472 delegates will be selected by the Republican voters of the 56 states and territories; 1,237 delegate votes are needed to win.
Kansas will have 40 delegates.
Why no primary?
A caucus is an election run by volunteers of a political party. No tax dollars are used. In contrast, a primary is a government-run election, paid for by the tax payers, and run by the state elections system as a joint venture between the party and the government.
Kansas uses a caucus instead of a primary for two reasons – cost and party building. A primary election would cost about $2 million. A caucus costs the state nothing. The political parties use the caucus process to engage volunteers and gain contact information from active voters.
What is a Kansas Presidential caucus like?
Every county Republican Party is required to hold a caucus or run a joint caucus with a neighboring county. Most do it in one location – schools, churches, armories, restaurants, hotel lobbies and theaters have been used as locations. These are partisan political events, so short speeches are given, candidates and elected officials will attend and meet the voters.
What time will the results be announced?
The caucus chair will announce the results of each caucus after all of the ballots have been cast and counted. The state party will post statewide results on the party website as they are received and verified. However, there are provisional ballots that will not be counted until 10 days after the caucus, so the March 5 results will be preliminary and if it is a close race, the delegate allocation could be modified.
The local Democrats will caucus at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Hoisington Activity Center, 1200 Susank Road. Participants must be in line to check in or register between 1 and 3 p.m. Participants must be registered Democrats, and may register or change affiliation on that day at the door.
This caucus is for the following counties: Barton, Hodgeman, Ness, Pawnee, Rush, Scott, Lane, and that part of western Rice within the 33A Senate District.
Questions may be directed to Barton County Democratic Chairman Brock McPherson, email@example.com or 620-793-3420.
The 2016 general election will be Tuesday, Nov. 8.
The Republican and Democratic Party primary elections will take place Aug. 2, at which the party members will select their candidates for U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress, State Senate, State House, State School Board, and county positions. Sen. Jerry Moran will face Al Zahnter in the GOP primary for that office. In the First District of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Tim Huelscamp faces two GOP challengers, Alan LaPolice and Dr. Roger Marshall. The filing deadline for party candidates is June 1.
Sources: www.ksgop.org (frequently asked caucus questions); www.uselections.com (Kansas); http://kansas.state-election.info/ and www.ksdp.org.