GOP makes plans for 2012 caucus
by Dennis Sharkey
The Jefferson County Republican Central Committee is quickly formulating plans for a 2012 Presidential caucus.
The committee, along with Atchison County, held a caucus at the Ozawkie American Legion building in 2008. More than 300 attended the caucus.
The committee has until Nov. 15 to submit the plan to the state Republican party in order to qualify.
The plans must include when, where and how it will take place. No communication had taken place with Atchison County as of last week to partner on next year’s caucus.
The state party will approve the plans and a list of caucus sites will be distributed on Dec. 15.
The committee is considering a location change for next year’s caucus. The 2008 caucus was well attended according to committee members and the Legion Hall was crowded. Committee member Ron Ellis suggested the Oskaloosa school multipurpose room as an alternative because of the space.
The caucus date is scheduled for Saturday, March 10, 2012. Gov. Sam Brownback signed legislation this year abolishing the state’s primary for 2012. Kansas has not held a primary election since 1992 opting for the caucus.
Caucuses differ from primary elections in that they are meetings of voters as opposed to an actual election where votes are cast just like they are in general elections. In the case of Kansas a participant must be a registered voter of the particular party caucus they wish to participate in.
At the caucus the participants divide up into groups of which particular candidate they support. Undecided voters form their own group and then are courted by supporters of candidates.
At the end of the caucus each group is counted to determine the number of delegates each candidate will receive. In Kansas this is also how delegates are selected. Delegates are then sent to the state convention to choose the presidential candidate.
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