- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Democrats head to caucuses in each of Idaho’s 44 counties Tuesday, and organizers expect record turnout for the contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Here are some things to know about the Idaho Democratic Caucus:

DO I HAVE TO BE A REGISTERED DEMOCRAT?

Unlike Idaho’s closed Republican primaries, anyone can vote in the state’s Democratic caucus, as long as they’re eligible to vote in the November general election and they didn’t already vote in the March 8 GOP primary.

The state Democrats use an honor system: They ask attendees to sign an affidavit stating they are eligible, and then they check names against the list of people who voted in the GOP primary. Other than that, no identification or proof of address is required.

Seventeen-year-olds may participate in the caucus as long as they will turn 18 and be eligible to vote before the Nov. 8 general election. People also may come to watch but not take part in the caucus, as long as there is enough room.



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WHERE DO I CAUCUS?

Some counties have switched locations or added additional caucus sites to accommodate large crowds. A complete list of venue updates and information about your local caucus location is available here: https://idahodems.org/.

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HOW DOES IT WORK?

Caucuses are typically lively affairs. Party officials recommend caucus-goers RSVP at the party website simply because it makes the check-in process quicker.

Attendees are urged to arrive between 5 and 6 p.m. MDT; the doors are closed and no new admittance is allowed at 7 p.m. MDT. The events usually take at least a couple of hours.

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WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS?

Once everyone is inside, participants can choose to join one of four groups, showing support for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, California businessman Rocky De La Fuente or uncommitted.

Spokespeople for the different candidates will debate and attempt to sway attendees to join their groups, and participants are allowed to switch from one to the other as the night goes on.

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HOW ARE DELEGATES PICKED?

Once the number of participants in a group drops below 15 percent of the total attendees, that group is barred from choosing delegates. The remaining participants may switch to a new group.

In addition to selecting a candidate, attendees in groups with more than 15 percent of the vote will select county-level delegates who will go to the state convention to support their chosen candidate.

There will be 384 county-level delegates; they’ll be awarded proportionally to the candidate depending on their percentage of the vote. After the state convention, 27 delegates will be sent to the national nominating convention in July.

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