- Associated Press - Monday, June 20, 2016

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Idaho Democrats are considering abandoning their presidential caucus in favor of a primary.

Delegates on Saturday approved a resolution endorsing the switch at the party’s state convention and instructed the state committee to explore options for a selection process on par with a primary, The Idaho Statesman reported (https://bit.ly/28IZs04 ).

Primaries allow people to vote privately. In caucuses, party members openly state the candidate they want to support.

“It’s a really reasonable thing for the delegates to be talking about,” state Chairman Bert Marley said. “We do want to do a deep dive into this and see how we can handle it best.”

The change needs the endorsement of state and national party officials. If would take effect in 2020 if approved.

The move toward an election format change comes after huge turnout at the party’s March caucus caused significant delays and other logistical problems. More than 9,000 people came to the Ada County venue and after up to two-hour delays to enter the caucus, hundreds of people left without casting a vote.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton at the March 22 caucus, winning by a nearly 4-1 margin.

Idaho Republicans switched to a primary format this year after pushing through the Legislature a move to hold a stand-alone presidential primary in March, separate from the state’s regular May primaries. The move came after Idaho Republicans faced their own caucus problems in 2012.

Critics of the Republican plan objected to the $2 million cost of another statewide election, which is paid for by taxpayers, but the primary format is seen as more fair and inclusive than a caucus.


Information from: Idaho Statesman, https://www.idahostatesman.com

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