Presidential caucus night fast approaches for the five recognized political parties in Utah.
The Utah Democratic and Republican Parties will hold presidential voting and the Utah Constitution Party will hold a state caucus on March 22. The Utah Independent American and Libertarian Parties will hold state caucuses later in the year.
The First Presidency has encouraged all members in Utah to participate in the local caucuses — regardless of political affiliation — and has made note of Utah’s place at the bottom in political involvement.
Getting politically involved for the first time can be a daunting task. So, consider the following in getting involved politically.
Below is information from the Lieutenant Governor’s office, party websites and party officials about the various caucus nights around BYU. This information is subject to change, and it’s advisable to check the party’s website for the most up-to-date information.
1. Register to vote.
Go to voter.utah.gov to register to vote and affiliate with one of the five political parties in Utah:
- Utah Constitution Party
- Utah Democratic Party
- Utah Independent American Party
- Utah Libertarian Party
- Utah Republican Party
The Utah Independent American, Libertarian and the Republican Parties require voters to officially affiliate with their party when voters register to vote. Other degrees of participation may require other party requirements like paying dues.
You will need your driver’s license or state I.D. number and the associated address. You may be required to update that information to register correctly.
2. Form opinions.
This is where you need to make some decisions. What do you value? What is important to you by the way of political issues? How do you want public policy to look? How involved to you want to get?
Below is a list of the parties and a little bit about their party process links to the party websites.
The Utah Constitution Party will elect precinct chairs and county delegates in their caucus, according to Utah County chairman Suzette Allen.
Date: March 22, 2016
Time: 7 p.m.
Locations: Ben Norton residence 821 W. 2000 N. Orem
The Utah Democratic Party will hold a presidential preference voting and conduct party business like selecting precinct chairs and delegates. Utah Democrats communications director Yándary Zavala said that participants are allowed to register to vote at caucus locations but need a state-issued identification and mail verifying their residential address.
The Democratic Party holds just 12 state House of Representative seats and five state Senate seats — all of which are in Salt Lake County.
She also said that the caucuses are “open,” meaning that one is not required to be a registered Democrat to participate.
Date: March 22, 2016
Time: Tuesday, March 22, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Locations: Dixon Middle School 750 West 200 North Provo, UT 84601
The Utah Independent American Party chairman Hal Massey said the party will hold a state nominating party for offices up for election this year such as the governorship, Utah’s congressional delegation and a state legislative seat. Those interested in becoming a delegate must contact Massey directly at .
Only those registered with the Independent American Party may participate.
Date: April 23, 2016
Time: 12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Location: Salt Lake County Commission Chambers, South Side of North Building, 2001 South State Street, Salt Lake City, 84190
The Utah Libertarian Party claims to be the fastest growing political party in the state on their website.
The Utah Libertarian Party State Convention is open to dues-paying members, according to the party website.
Date: April 23, 2016
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Salt Lake County Council Chambers, 2001 South State Street, Salt Lake City, 84190
The Utah Republican Party will hold a presidential preference caucus and conduct state business like electing delegates and precinct chairs.
The UTGOP is the largest party in the state. All four members of Utah’s Congressional delegation are Republicans. Twenty-four of the 29 seat Senate and 51 of the 75 seat House of Representatives are held by Republicans.
The UTGOP requires that all participants be registered as Republicans with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office.
Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Time: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Location: Wasatch Elementary 1080 N. 900 E. Provo, Utah, 84604
The Republican and Democratic Parties will be voting for presidential candidates first thing. If this is the bit of involvement you are most interested in, it is recommended that you come to the caucus location on time and already registered to vote.
If the trend continues, Utah polling locations and caucuses may be crowded. Several states have reported record-setting participation in the 2016 primary/caucus season. Be patient. Be prepared.
3. Commit to attend the caucus.
After you have decided where you want to participate, it’s time to plan out a very patriotic schedule.
Go to vote.utah.gov to get the closest caucus location to your home. The same page is available below to find that caucus information for Utah addresses.
4. What’s at stake in Utah for presidential candidates?
The Utah has 40 Republican delegates available to GOP presidential candidates. This places Utah in a four-way tie with Arkansas, Kansas and Mississippi for the 21st most candidates up for grabs in the 2016 presidential election.
In Utah, the GOP allocates delegates proportionally, unless a candidate wins more than 50 percent of the caucus vote. That candidate then wins all 40 candidates. If more than three candidates win more than 15 percent of the vote, then those candidates will get a proportion of the delegates based on percentage of votes. Any candidates with lower than 15 percent get no delegates.
If fewer than three candidates get 15 percent or more of the caucus vote, all candidates get a percentage of the 40 delegates based on the caucus vote.
On the Democratic Party side, Utah is tied with Kansas as the 33rd most delegates up for grabs with 33 awarded proportionally and four superdelegates. Counting delegates claimed by candidates in the Democratic Party is difficult to gauge because “superdelegates” are allowed to back the candidate of their choosing regardless of voting results. Estimates in the graph below are reported by The Associated Press.
Further, each state has differing rules for how delegates are awarded and the obligation of delegates to follow the popular vote.