The Iowa caucuses are democracy in action. They're your earliest formal chance to help select candidates and to have input on your political party's positions.
WHEN: Monday, February 5, 2018
6:00 p.m. Check-in
7:00 p.m. Caucus proceedings start; latecomers are not admitted
WHO: Registered members of the Republican, Democrat, and Libertarian Parties. (You can register or change party affiliation at the door, in most cases)
WHY GO: This year there are large and competitive races for governor and Congress that could determine the nominees, so your participation can have a significant impact.
During presidential election years, the Iowa caucuses are in the national spotlight. This year there will be less national attention, but it's still especially important that you attend because of the number of candidates for governor and Congress.
In fact, The Des Moines Register called this year's local caucuses "the most significant midterm caucuses in more than a decade, kicking off a caucus-to-convention process that could determine the nominees in certain contests and provide valuable insight into candidates’ campaign organizations."
It's also an important caucus year because for the first time, the Libertarians in Iowa received enough of a percentage of the last general election vote to have their own caucuses. Previously, only the Democrats and the Republicans were able to hold caucuses.
It's important to note that caucuses are not elections. They are the mechanism through which individuals show their support for a candidate, and tell the parties what issues matter. Attending a caucus is easy and is a fascinating insight into our political process.
After the caucuses, you'll have an opportunity to actually cast your ballot in the pollbooth in the Iowa primaries on June 5, 2018.
Based on who wins in the primaries, you can then cast your vote again in the general election, sometimes referred to as the mid-term election, on Tuesday, November 6.
Here's how to participate in your local caucus on February 5:
IF YOU'RE A DEMOCRAT
IF YOU'RE A REPUBLICAN
IF YOU'RE A LIBERTARIAN
NOT REGISTERED OR UNSURE?
If you are not registered with any party or are unsure what party you might be registered with, you can still attend a caucuses. You can register at the door at the caucuse for your precinct. If you want to attend your local Republican caucus, for example, you would register as a Republican at the door.