The Republican Party of Iowa offers a guide to their caucuses.
- Iowans have used the caucus process since Iowa became a state in the 1840s.
- All 1,774 precincts in Iowa hold a Republican caucus.
- Caucus sites are usually in public buildings such as schools or libraries, but churches, private residences and other spaces are used as well.
- In Presidential years, the most notable item on the caucus agenda is the Republican Presidential Preference Poll.
- In most precincts, the Presidential Preference Poll is a simple, secret-ballot vote. Republican voters from the precinct are each given one ballot to write down their preference for the Republican presidential nominee.
- Presidential candidates do not have to file, apply or pay a fee to be included in the preference poll. It is a candidate’s responsibility to convince voters to write their name down on a ballot. In most cases, counties will hand out blank pieces of paper for Republicans to write down their preference for the nominee.
- Before the poll, each campaign is allowed to have one surrogate or volunteer speak on behalf of his or her candidate. One volunteer or surrogate per campaign is also allowed to observe the counting of the ballots after the poll. The results are then announced to the caucus attendees before being reported to the Iowa GOP.
- The primary function of the caucus is to conduct party business. Official business of the precinct caucus includes electing members to the county Republican central committee, electing delegates, alternates and junior delegates to the county convention, electing precinct people to any committees for the County Convention and discussing and submitting platform issues to the County Convention.
- What time do the caucuses begin? All caucuses begin at 7 P.M. Central time on Tuesday, January 3, 2012. It is advisable, however, to arrive at your precinct site before 7 P.M.
- How old do you have to be to vote? Iowans who will be eighteen by Election Day 2012 (November 6, 2012) can vote in the Iowa caucus.
- Do you have to be registered Republican to participate in the Republican caucus? Yes. In order to participate in the Republican caucus, one must be a registered Republican in the state of Iowa. You do have the opportunity to register as a Republican at the caucus, provided that you have a valid photo ID with your current address on it (such as your Iowa driver’s license) or a photo ID and a document that proves your residence (such as a utility bill). For more information, visit: http://sos.iowa.gov/elections/voterinformation/edr.html.
- How do I find my caucus location? YOU MUST ATTEND THE CAUCUS FOR THE PRECINCT IN WHICH YOU LIVE. YOUR POLLING LOCATION IS NOT NECESSARILY YOUR CAUCUS LOCATION.
There are two ways to find your caucus location:
Use our App! Go to the Apple Store or the Android Store and search “IowaGOP2012.” Download the App to find your caucus location on your Smartphone.
Use our website and follow this two-step process:
- Determine the precinct in which you live.Your precinct is located on your voter registration card. If you do not know which precinct you live in, visit www.iowagop.org/caucus and click the link that forwards you to the Secretary of State’s precinct finder.
- After you’ve determined which precinct you live in, visit the Republican Party of Iowa’s website at www.iowagop.org/caucus. Go to “Find My Caucus” and click the “View by County” option. Find the county in which you live and find your precinct caucus location.
How will results be reported? Results of the Presidential Preference Poll will be announced by the Iowa GOP by precinct as results are received and verified.