Precinct party caucuses are a week away

Parties prepare for Super Tuesday

Precinct party caucuses are a week away on March 1 — Super Tuesday — when voters in Minnesota and 12 other states will caucus for presidential candidates, among other party business.

The events, which begin at 7 p.m., are run completely by state political parties and deal with internal party business so caucus rules and happenings will vary, district by district.

Roseville Review area Republicans and DFLers who plan to caucus likely live in either House District 42B or 66A; officials in both parties are expecting lots of caucus participation during this presidential election year.  

State DFL chair Ken Martin has predicted a large, possibly record, turnout at caucuses, while Philip Ziermann, chair of House District 42B Republicans, echoes those expectations.

“We are expecting a pretty high, significant turnout,” Ziermann said, adding that state GOP officials expect participation in 2016 to be “50 percent higher than in 2012.”

Charlie Quick, DFL Senate District 66 chair, walked back Martin’s prediction, if only by a bit.

“I would say [turnout will be] pretty big,” Quick said. “I don’t know if it’ll be the biggest we’ve ever had — not as big as 2008.”

People who plan to caucus must meet a handful of requirements, according to the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, which has worked with political parties to compile information about caucuses, even though the Secretary of State is not involved in the events.

Prospective caucus-goers must be eligible to vote in the 2016 election on Nov. 8, must live in the precinct and be in general agreement with the principles of the party holding the caucus.

Ziermann said for the 42B Republican caucus, being held at Vadnais Heights Elementary school, people should consider carpooling because parking might be limited, and that they can show up as early as 6 p.m. when registration should be up and running.

He added it would be helpful if people knew what precinct they live in ahead of time.

“If they know that in advance it’s going to make things go a lot more smoothly,” he said.

Quick said people can rely on fellow-caucus goers for help at the 66A DFL caucus, being held at Roseville Area High School.

“Show up, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, we’ll have people there to direct you to the right precinct,” he said, adding, “Tag along and ask people questions.”

Quick said DFLers in 66A can expect to register at 6:30 p.m. or so, and that around 8 p.m., things will be wrapping up as officials will be getting out the word about results of the presidential balloting.

“People will be anxious to find out” the results, Quick said.

As for what to expect from the overall experience of the March 1 caucuses, Ziermann predicted a good time.

“Be prepared to have fun,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for about 23 years, and it’s always a lot of fun.”

“The presidential straw poll is a big part of it; electing delegates is a big part of it,” Ziermann added. “It’s a chance to meet other like-minded people living in the area.”

Minnesota precinct party caucuses are March 1  
at 7 p.m., with registration in the hour or so prior.

House District 42B caucuses for Little Canada and sections of Roseville:

Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Roseville Area High School
1240 County Road B2 W.
Roseville

Republican Party
Vadnais Heights Elementary School
3645 Centerville Road
Vadnais Heights

House District 66A caucuses for Falcon Heights, Lauderdale and most of Roseville:

Republican Party
Roseville Area Middle School
15 County Road B2 E.
Little Canada

Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Roseville Area High School
1240 County Road B2 W.
Roseville

You can find your caucus location by visiting www.caucusfinder.sos.state.mn.us. The website also provides information on what precinct you live in, as well as information on minor party caucuses.

Mike Munzenrider can be reached at mmunzenrider@lillienews.com or 651-748-7813. Follow him on Twitter @mmunzenrider.

 

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