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Caucus 2020: Why should I? How do I? Who is running?

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Caucuses are the first step to becoming a national delegate! – Sept. 6, 2012 – Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy

I made a grievous mistake in my last post. When I originally sent the copy to the editor, I was under the impression that caucuses were going to be held the evening of the primary at 7 p.m., in the same way the preference ballot and caucuses had been on the same day in 2016.

I was wrong. All four major parties in Minnesota — Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL), Grassroots – Legalize Cannabis, Legal Marijuana Now, and Republican parties — are holding their caucuses on Tuesday, February 25 at 7 p.m.

You can find your caucus locations for all parties based on your local address here on the Secretary of State’s website:

https://caucusfinder.sos.state.mn.us/

Why should I caucus?

Getting involved at the local level of your political party is a major factor in the selection of candidates who will eventually appear on the ballot in November. As a reader of streets.mn, you are likely very interested in transportation and housing and environmental issues, and making your voice heard in the caucus and conventions influences the issues that will be talked about in the general election.

The caucus on February 25 is only the first step. That night, party members will elect delegates to conventions and submit resolutions to those conventions that go on to influence the party platform. At convention, as a delegate, you will endorse or not endorse candidates for office and that party endorsement has a major influence on who wins the nomination primary in August by unlocking party fundraising and brand awareness.

Caucuses give individual people a lot of political power, and you can use that to advance important issues that matter to us all.

How do I caucus?

You can find your caucus locations for all parties based on your local address here on the Secretary of State’s website:

https://caucusfinder.sos.state.mn.us/

Just show up at around 6:30 p.m. when registration opens and be sure to be elected a delegate to your local conventions.

A warning: there may be sub-caucusing if there is high turnout or a contested caucus with supporters of different candidates. Party members in the room split into groups and each group then elects a proportional share of the precinct’s delegates. So if there are nine delegates assigned to the precinct, and there are three equally-sized groups, each sub-caucus would elect three delegates and three alternates to fill in if the delegates cannot participate.

Who is running?

MinnPost is running an excellent tracking program of who is running for state legislative offices this year. Beyond the state legislature, there are county commissioner and school board races across the state as well. Unless you get flyers in the mail, it can be difficult to know who is running at this stage. That’s why it’s important to become a delegate so your voice can be represented in the process.

Check out the MinnPost 2020 election tracker.

I hope this information de-mystifies the process and helps you be a more informed resident who can influence the political process and promote issues that are important to us all!

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3 thoughts on “Caucus 2020: Why should I? How do I? Who is running?

  1. Brian Scholin

    You mentioned some of the non-partisan races (school board, county commissioner) but not city council. While some of the larger cities do their elections at odd times, by far the most city council members are elected in November, and those results can have a lot of effect on development, statewide. Of course, many of those races, being non-partisan, are not a topic at the caucuses. But they can be, and sometimes are.

  2. Eric

    Anyone else laugh out loud that the other 2 MN parties both have “make weed legal” as the name of their political party? How can two single-issue parties who agree on that issue be so far apart that they need to be 2 political parties? Made my day actually laughing about this.

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