The road to Election Day 2008 has begun. The first step on this road will occur on February 5, 2008. That’s the night precinct caucuses will take place at a community center, school or other place of gathering in your neighborhood.
What is a precinct caucus? Basically, it’s a group of individuals who live in a precinct that come together to make decisions about a particular political party. Among these decisions are selecting candidates to run in elections and voting on resolutions that will become the political party’s platform.
For people with disabilities, attending a precinct caucus can help address disability issues. Your ideas (as resolutions) can become part of the party platform; it’s a great way to put people power behind your ideas.
Other information that is helpful to know about precinct caucuses is:
• Anyone who lives within a voting precinct and is a qualified voter can attend a precinct caucus
• MN statute allows individuals to take time off from work without pay in order to participate in precinct caucuses if they give their employer written notice at least 10 days in advance (January 25th in this case).
• You can attend precinct caucuses simply as an observer and are not required to vote on issues.
• Precinct caucuses are typically held at your usual polling place and are required to have the same accessibility standards as polling places.
• Interpreter services can be made available. Contact your political party state office by either letter or e-mail in order to request an interpreter.
• Materials can be made available in alternative formats. Contact your political party for more details.
For more information, you can contact the Office of the Secretary of State at 651-215-1440, www.sos.state.mn.us/home/index.asp?page=1, or your major political party below.
•Democratic-Farmer-Labor, 651-293-1200, www.dfl.org
•Independence, 651-487-9700, www.mnip.org
•Republican, 651-222-0022, www.mngop.org
If your affiliation is with a minor political party, caucuses may still occur. Contact them directly for further information.
Election Day is November 4, 2008. Whether or not you decide to caucus this year—make sure you vote!