Church of Jesus Christ encourages Utahns to attend local caucuses on Super Tuesday

1273
People assemble at a Republican caucus site on Tuesday, March 22, 2016, in Salt Lake City. Republicans and Democrats will have the opportunity to participate in neighborhood caucuses on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (Image courtesy of AP Photo)

Utahns will have the opportunity to attend caucus meetings for the 2024 election cycle.

During the meetings, attendees will select delegates for the upcoming national conventions to determine presidential candidates. Caucus meetings will begin at 6 p.m. in various locations around the state based on local precincts.

During this year’s caucus, the Utah Republican Party will hold a presidential preference poll in place of a traditional presidential primary. Registered Republican voters will need to attend the caucus in person to cast their vote for their preferred presidential candidate.

According to the Utah GOP’s website, “Presidential candidates are notably more present under a caucus system — many having already spent time here in Utah. Presidential preference polls generally lead to more meaningful and frequent engagement from candidates compared to primaries filled with standardized ad buys.”

The Utah Democratic Party will hold a presidential primary election and will receive their ballots through mail. Any registered voter can attend the Democrat caucus as long as they preregister before the meeting.

Voters can preregister on the party’s website, utahdemocrats.org/caucus.

In a recent letter from the Utah Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, local leaders were asked not to schedule meetings during the caucus to encourage member participation.

The Utah Area Presidency encouraged Utahns to engage in local and national politics and learn more about the candidates.

“Our communities and our state are best served when a broad representation of Utah citizens fully engage in the election process through caucus meetings, primary and general elections, and other grassroots political activities,” the presidency said. “All are welcome to attend, and all will benefit from a wide variety of opinions and viewpoints.”

Quin Monson, a BYU American politics professor, said participation at the caucus meetings is critical to their success.

“I think that healthy political parties are important. And to have healthy political parties, you need a good representation of people to show up and participate,” Monson said.

Caucus meetings can skew results if only a small portion of voters attend the meetings, according to Monson.

“The problem that you can get with a caucus meeting is that you tend to get those that are most committed, and especially that are most ideological,” Monson said. “In other words, you get people that are most extreme in their political views than voters in the party as a whole.”

Monson said the presidential preference poll could reflect a higher support for Donald Trump on Tuesday depending on turnout.

Adam Brown, an associate professor of American politics at BYU, said the caucus meetings discourage voters from participating.

“It’s an extraordinarily time consuming process,” Brown said. “It is so time consuming that it tends to disproportionately draw participants who have atypical political views.”

Brown said the encouragement of the Church might help make the caucus meetings more successful.

“They work best if a lot of people show up,” Brown said. “The more people who can show up, the more the outcome is going to reflect what typical Utahns want.”

Registered Republican voters can find caucus meeting locations on the party’s website, utgop.org.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email