What you need to know for tomorrow's Minnesota caucuses

Alice Keefe
Created: February 24, 2020 06:45 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Despite making the switch this year from nominating presidential candidates by caucus to a primary system, the Minnesota caucuses are not dead.

The switch to primaries are in part due to big caucus turnouts in recent years.


“In 2008 and 2016, especially on the DFL side, the number of people who wanted to participate was such that it was impractical to do this with just volunteers in one space at a fixed time,” said Mark Liebow, the communications officer for Senate District 26 DFL (Democratic-Farm-Labor), the DFL organizing unit in Olmsted County. 

On Tuesday night, both parties are encouraging people to come out and caucus. 

“Caucus is all about getting people involved in the process,” said Greg Gallas, Olmsted County GOP chair.

The parties have a few items to take care of Tuesday night.

One of the more familiar on the list is picking delegates.

“Probably the single most important thing we do, we elect delegates to the next level of conventions, and those delegates help elect not only the leaders of the party units, but also make endorsements for state legislative races,” Liebow said.

Those delegates will choose which local candidates get the parties’ endorsements.

The caucus-goers will also pick local precinct officers for the next two years and vote on amendments or resolutions that could be added to the parties’ platforms.

“You can’t vote on them if you’re not there,” Liebow said.

For both parties, even though the caucuses might not be as flashy as usual with the bigger business holding off until next week, it is still an important night for politics.

“It goes back to the grassroots thing. This is how people get involved in the process. This is how people make changes at a state level,” Gallas said.

Caucuses in Olmsted County, regardless of party, start at 7 p.m. with registration beginning at 6:30 p.m.

For more information on the local DFL caucuses, check the Minnesota DFL website.

For more information on the local GOP caucuses, check Republicans of Olmsted County website.

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