Here’s what you need to know about precinct caucuses:
What is a caucus?
A caucus is technically just a private meeting of party members. A caucus takes place at a particular time in the evening — you either attend the caucus meeting or you don’t. And Republicans and Democrats hold separate caucus meetings instead of everyone voting at the same polling place.
Why should I Attend the Caucuses?
First, your job and livelihood will be decided by the people elected in November. Second, You will meet and engage with candidates running for your party’s endorsement. Third, You can shape the issues that your party stands for so it better represents you and your community. Lastly, you meet your neighbors and talk with them about issues important to you, your values and concerns.
When and Where do I go to caucus?
Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 7pm, find your precinct caucus location at http://caucusfinder.sos.state.mn.us/
Does the IFO have any recommended resolutions?
Yes! Please view our recommended resolution here.
Do I need to be registered to vote?
No. You need to live in the district, and you have to be eligible to vote by Election Day, Nov. 8. That means many current 17-year-olds can caucus if their birthday is before early November.
Minnesotans don’t register as members of parties, so there’s no need to be formally registered as a Democrat or Republican to participate.
What happens at a caucus?
Once caucuses begin at 7 p.m., Local caucuses will debate and pass resolutions. More significant, the caucus will also elect delegates for upcoming local conventions who will endorse candidates for the statewide offices, including Governor, the Legislature, and Congress. Attending precinct caucuses and being elected a delegate to the next level is also the only way to get to the state and congressional district conventions. This year will also include a straw poll for the contested gubernatorial race (IFO endorses Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan for MN Governor and Lt. Gov.).
What if I’m busy during the caucus?
You have to be at the 7 p.m. meeting to vote in the straw poll. However, if you wish to be considered for a delegate parties do allow you to fill out a form which can be submitted in your absence. For more information please contact your party. Under Minnesota law, you have the right to take time off work to attend a caucus, provided you give your employer 10 days’ written notice.
Can I still vote if I get there late?
Registration opens at 6:30 p.m., and the caucuses start at 7. It’s best to be there on time, but arriving after 7 p.m. won’t necessarily prevent you from voting or becoming a delegate.
What if I’m having difficulty getting to the caucus?
Local party caucuses sometimes offer rides to the meetings. To find local Republican Party contacts, call 651-222-0022. Local DFL contacts can be found on the party’s caucus-finder at https://www.dfl.org/resources/caucus-finder/.
If you’ve decided which candidate you’re supporting, you can also contact that candidate’s campaign. Campaigns will often provide rides to get their supporters to the caucus.
What if I’m not a Democrat or Republican?
Most of Minnesota’s minor parties will also hold caucuses to determine their presidential nominees and platforms. More information can be found by searching for your parties website.