February 12, 2012,
by Derek Franklin
of Atchison County Republican Party
"What is the difference between the Presidential Preference Primary, a Convention and a Caucus?"
A Presidential Preference "Primary" is a state sponsored function funded at taxpayers expense. In a primary, voters go to their assigned voting place in the precinct where they live and cast their vote for the candidate of their choice. In a primary, polling (voting) locations are open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.
A Presidential Preference Convention is sponsored by the State Party at the State Party's expense. Only elected party officials can participate. There is one designated time and place in the state where convention participants meet to choose their presidential nominee.
A Presidential Caucus is sponsored by the State Party at party expense. In most counties, there will be one location designated as the county caucus site. All registered voters wishing to vote for the Presidential Nominee are required to attend and vote at the designated site.
In Atchison County, the Presidential Caucus for the Republican Party will be held March 10, 2012, at the Blue Building, 302 Main Street, Effingham, Kansas.
Registered voters who wish to take part in the caucus will be credentialed as they check in and will be given a caucus pass, which will allow them to enter the caucus area. The Caucus Chair will call the caucus to order precisely at 10:00 am. Because there will only be one location in the county for every registered voter to vote at, credentialing must begin early. This is necessary due to the sheer number of voters attending. At the caucus location there will be opprotunities to visit with presidential candidates or their representatives as well as local party officials, elected representatives and candidates. The County Republican Party or an associated organization will provide a hospitallity time where caucus participants can enjoy some pastries and refreshments while visiting with other caucus attendees. Every caucus location in Kansas will be called to order at precisely 10:00 am on March 10, 2012. Once the caucus is called to order, each presidential candidate or their representative will have 10 minutes to address the voters. Voting will begin once all the presidential candidates have delivered their campaign message. Credentialing and voting will continue until 1:00 pm at which time those still in line will be allowed inside to vote. Anyone coming after that will be turned away. Once everyone inside has voted, all county caucus votes will be tallied and the results forwarded to the State Party. The results should be announced by the media some time after 5:00pm.
Pastries, snacks, and other refreshments will be provided by the Atchison County Republican Central Committee, with proceeds going to defray the caucus expenses and to support candidates in the 2012 election.
Schedule of events will be as follows:
+ 8:30 Doors Open
+ 8:30-12:30 Hospitality area opens (food and drinks)
+ 8:30-1:00 Credentialing
+ 10:00 Caucus is called to order, speeches are given by representatives
+ 11:00-1:00 Voting by credentialed voters
+1:00 Credentialing is closed and voting is wrapped up
It is your patriotic duty to vote and be engaged. If you forego your civic obligations, you have no right to complain when you are not happy with the results.