You’ve been hearing about the impending Iowa and New Jersey Democratic Caucuses, well get ready, the presidential caucuses are coming to Kansas on Sat., March 5. If you’ve never participated, note, caucuses aren’t anything like going to the polls to vote. Caucuses are more of a big tent political meeting with all Democrats in the State invited to attend. There will be 40 of those meetings, or caucuses, across the state, one in each Kansas Senate District. If you want to know where your caucus will be held, start by finding out what Senate District you’re in. For example, most Northeast Wichita residents live in the 29th Kansas Senate District represented by KS Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau. Democrats from the 29th District will meet at the WSU CAC Theater.

We have a link to a complete list of caucus locations by Senate Districk on our website at www.communityvoiceks.com.

To participate in your caucus, you need to show up at the designated location and register between 1 and 3 p.m. The caucuses should get underway around 3:30 p.m.

Who can participate in the caucuses?

Any person who is eligible to vote in state of Kansas and who will be 18 years old on Election Day, November 8, 2016, may participate in the Kansas caucuses. These individuals must reside in the Senate District in which they wish to participate, and they must be registered as a Democrat.  Voter registration and party registration is available on the day of the caucus.

How do the Democratic Caucuses work?

Eligible caucus goers divide to form Presidential preference groups. If a preference group does not have enough people to be considered “viable”, 15% of total caucus goers, eligible attendees will have an opportunity to join another preference group or acquire people into their group to become viable.

Delegates are then awarded to the preference groups based on their size. 

If 300 people show up and 100 people prefer Hillary Clinton, 100 people prefer Bernie Sanders and 100 people prefer Martin O’Malley, then the delegates allotted to that District (we’ll use 9 as an example) will be assigned: 3 for Clinton, 3 for Sanders and 3 for O’Malley. 

After the preferences of the preferences at your Senate District caucus are determined, you can leave.  However, if you’re interested in being a delegate to the Congressional District meeting, or a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, you need to stick around.  The next order of business is to select the representatives to the four U.S. Congressional District Meetings scheduled for April 2. 

Twenty-two of Kansas’ 37 delegates to the Democratic National Convention will be selected at the April 2 Congressional Meetings.  If you want to be a delegate to the Democratic National Convention this summer in Philadelphia, or if you want to help someone get elected as a delegate to the National convention, then you should want to be a delegate to the Congressional District meeting.

Caucus by the Numbers

Here’s how the numbers work.  The assigned number of delegates to the Congressional District meetings and the number of delegates to the National Convention from each Congressional District have already been determined based on voter turnout in the 2012 Presidential elections.  So districts with high voter turnout in 2012 have more delegates.   

Here’s how the numbers and delegates breakout per Congressional District. 

1st Congressional District – Salina, Hutchinson, Junction City, Manhattan

Has 4 delegates to the national convention – 2 females and 2 males. 

From the Senate caucuses, 70 delegates will be chosen to attend the Congressional District Meeting

2nd Congressional District – Lawrence, Leavenworth, Topeka, Independence

Has 7 delegates to the National convention – 4 females and 3 males. 

From the Senate Caucuses, 124 delegates will be chosen to attend the Congressional District Meeting

3rd Congressional District — Wyandotte County & Johnson County

Has 6 delegates to the National Convention – 3 females and 3 males

From the Senate Caucuses, 143 delegates will be chosen to attend the Congressional District Meeting

4th Congressional District –– Sedgwick County, Butler County, Kingman, Newton, Pratt and Winfield

Has 5 delegates to the National Convention – 3 females and 2 males

From the Senate Caucuses, 97 delegates will be chosen to attend the Congressional District Meeting

Fear not.  If you have your heart set on being a delegate to the National Convention and you’re not selected as a delegate from your Congressional District, there are seven at-large seats available and 4 seats allotted for elected officials, that includes members of the Kansas House and Senate and local elected officials. For complete rules on the delegate selection process click here.  

Bonita Gooch

Since 1996, Bonita has served as as Editor-in-Chief of The Community Voice newspaper. As the owner, she has guided the Wichita-based publication’s growth in reach across the state of Kansas and into...

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