Minnesota’s DFL and Republican parties have set March 1 as the date for their 2016 precinct caucuses. March 1 is “Super Tuesday,” the day when several other states hold their primary elections and caucuses. Precinct caucuses allow voters to cast their ballot for the candidates they want to see on the ballot in November. It’s time to bring issues that you care about to the table as a resolution and obtain support from others. As you prepare for your caucus, here are a few resources to help you out.
How to caucus, where to caucus.
If you’ve never caucused before, it can be an unclear and intimidating venture. But it doesn’t have to be. It is simply an event to gather with your neighbors and discuss the issues that matter most to you. Whether you’ve caucused before or this is your first time, here are a few resources and what you need to know to help you get the most out of your caucus experience:
- Need to know where your caucus is? Simply go to the Minnesota Secretary of State Caucus Finder and type in your address and voila, there is the specific location for your March 1, 2016 caucus. Hint – it should be close to home!
- Show up! Honestly, this is the most important thing. Visit with your neighbors before and after you sign in at 6:30 p.m.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions – you’ll likely find many other new faces, and friendly volunteers who are more than happy to show you the ropes.
- The business of the caucus should convene promptly at 7 p.m. This includes electing a precinct chair, delegates, and polling for candidates. This is also the time and place to submit resolution to influence your party’s official platform – the most powerful part of caucuses (see below).
Minnesota’s 2016 election: How to caucus: This article from the Duluth News Tribune offers an easy FAQ about how precinct caucuses work and what you can expect at your precinct caucus. It covers things like voter registration (you can register at the door); eligibility (as long as you are eligible on election day you can caucus), and how the Minnesota caucuses differ from the highly publicized Iowa caucuses (they do). It’s a must-read for any first-time caucus goer.
Caucus: Power Up Your Vote: This 32 minute video from the League of Women Voters Minnesota gives you an in depth look at year’s caucuses, and the democratic process in Minnesota.
If you plan to caucus with one of the 5 minor political parties in Minnesota (Grassroots Legalize Canabis, Green Party, Independence Party, Legal Marijuana Party Now, or Libertarian Party), please be aware that they may have limited locations. We’ve provided the available links to these parties for additional information.
A number of environmental issues are at stake in this election. You can present one or more resolution and advocate for adding it to your party’s official platform of issues this year, an important step to candidates at all levels protecting our natural resources. Resolutions are often pre-prepared and often start with “Whereas…” This is a way to introduce a reason, or a series of reasons, supporting the action item. The DFL asks that you utilize their Resolution form. and the Republican Party’s resolution form is here. Simply complete the form and present it to your precinct caucus chair (or some other volunteer) the particular rules and procedures for adopting them will be made clear by your caucus chairperson, but you can start filling out the form at any time.
Here are some suggested resolutions by a few of our coalition members:
- Sulfide Mining Caucus Resolution (from WaterLegacy, Sierra Club, League of Women Voters Friends of the Cloquet Valley State Forest, Save Our Sky Blue Waters, Save Lake Superior Association, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness)
- Full EIS for Crude Oil Pipelines (from MN350)
- Rapid Transition to Renewables (from MN350)
- State Pension Funds Divestment (from MN350)
- Protection of the BWCA and Voyageurs National Park (from Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness)
- Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizens’ Board (from League of Women Voters – Minnesota)
- Agriculture and Food – Pollinators (from League of Women Voters – Minnesota)
- Government – Single Subject Rule (from League of Women Voters – Minnesota)
- Government – Conference Committees (from League of Women Voters – Minnesota)
- Beyond Coal to Clean Energy (from Sierra Club – North Star Chapter)
- Clean Power Plan / Environmental Justice (from Sierra Club – North Star Chapter)
- Transportation Options (from Sierra Club – North Star Chapter)