Thursday, February 4, 2016

Ky. GOP Presidential Caucus explained

The race for the White House is off and running following Monday’s Iowa Caucus, and Kentucky’s 46 Republican delegates will be up for grabs in just more than a month. But some Bluegrass State voters remain a bit confused about the rules for the party's presidential caucus. Read below to find out a little more about the caucus, or find the complete story inside this week's issue of The Crittenden Press:

In Crittenden County, Republican Party Vice Chairman Fred Stubblefield said everything is on track for the March 5 caucus. He explained this presidential selection process will not function like Iowa's comparatively complicated caucus.

While a caucus may seem foreign to most voters, it is not that complex. Some notable departures from state-run elections include:
  • The caucus is on a Saturday rather than the usual Tuesday for Kentucky elections.
  • There will be only one polling location in most counties. In Crittenden County, it will be in the high school multi-purpose room. In Livingston County,  Republicans will have to travel to Benton to vote in person. However, all eligible party members in Livingston County will be allowed to vote by absentee ballot. (Where do I vote?)
  • Polls across the state will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time instead of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for Kentucky elections.
  • Electioneering will be allowed within just a few feet of the ballot box. In fact, it is a key part of the process. In state-sponsored elections, Kentucky law prohibits electioneering within 100 feet of the polling site.
Voter eligibility
To vote in this year's GOP caucus, you must already be a Republican registered through the county clerk's office. Registration closed Dec. 31. You must present a photo ID of some type or a Social Security card at the time you vote, or you may be identified by an acquaintance.

Absentee voting
Republicans who will be out of their respective county on caucus day can apply for an absentee ballot from the RPK. Also, any voter over the age of 70 or who may be unable to cast a ballot in person due to health reasons or disability may apply.

The one-page application may be downloaded from Instructions are included on the application, which must be received at the RPK headquarters in Frankfort by Feb. 19.

Absentee ballots will then be mailed to voters. At that time, applicants will become ineligible to vote in person at the polls. Completed ballots must be received at RPK headquarters by March 4.

County clerks in Kentucky will have no involvement in the absentee process or any other aspect of the caucus, and all of the rules on the caucus can be found on the RPK's website.