Minnesota’s precinct caucuses are Tuesday! By attending a caucus in your precinct (your local voting district), you have the opportunity to get involved with the political party of your choice, get to know your neighbors, and talk about issues that are important to you and your community.
All caucuses are at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 7. Not sure where to go? Find your precinct caucus location on the Secretary of State’s website.
About the precinct caucuses:
Major political parties are required by law to hold precinct caucuses on “caucus night,” as set by the Secretary of State. Each party determines its own procedures.
Everyone who lives within a voting precinct and is a qualified voter (or will be by the next election) can participate in one party’s precinct caucus in any one year.
The precinct caucus is the first step on the road to selecting a party’s candidates and platforms. The next step is either a county or legislative district convention, followed by a congressional district convention, then a state convention and finally, in presidential election years, the national convention. At each stage, issues and candidates are discussed and voted on by the delegates selected from the prior level.
Why should I attend my caucus?
Caucuses give you and your neighbors in the precinct an opportunity to discuss issues that are important to you — this is your chance to say how you would like to see a problem addressed. It’s also your opportunity to influence the candidate selection within your party.
You can introduce resolutions on issues you support; this is the beginning of building a party’s platform. The caucus is also the beginning of the formal process of selecting candidates to represent your party in the general election in November.
You may take an active role by becoming a delegate to the next level of meetings and perhaps join a committee to plan the next meeting. You may choose to go only to observe the process.
How do I decide which party caucus to attend?
Learn about the positions taken by the parties on issues that are important to you and decide if you are in general agreement with one of the parties. When you sign in at a caucus, you’re stating that you do support the basic tenets of that party, have done so in the past, or plan to in the next election. This is not a lifetime commitment, nor even an absolute requirement to vote for only one party at the general election. You may also go to either party caucus as a non-voting observer.
When and where are the caucuses held?
In even years, caucuses for the major parties (as defined by state law) take place at 7 p.m. on the date established in every voting precinct of the state. Usually, they are held in early February.
How do I make sure my caucus discusses environmental issues?
Bring one or more of these resolutions to your caucus! Members of our coalition have put together these resolutions about environmental issues so you can download and share them at your caucus:
- Prohibit toxic chemicals in children’s products
- Maintain community and township rights
- Keep Minnesota on the path to clean energy
- Increase renewable energy and energy conservation
- Protect the Legacy Amendment
- Preserve existing state budget laws in the state Constitution
- ‘Prove it first’ resolution on sulfide mining
- Protect Minnesota’s water from sulfide mining pollution
If you’re planning to propose a resolution:
- Give a brief introduction to the issue, explain why it is important, and summarize what the resolution says. Pass out the resolution and factsheet (if you have one).
- Read your resolution in full to your fellow precinct members.
- Answer questions to the best of your ability during discussion period (if needed).
- Vote to pass the resolutions for which you agree.
Bonus tip — go early to pass out copies of your resolutions and answer questions before the caucus begins!
Questions? Contact Patience Caso, MEP’s campaign director, for more info on participating in your caucus.