Idaho excited for Super Tuesday role
Idaho Republicans play a role in Super Tuesday this evening as they gather throughout the state for presidential caucuses.
It will be a new experience for many. For decades, the Idaho GOP has used the results of a presidential primary to award delegates to the candidates while Democrats have used caucuses.
But the presidential primary was part of the state primary in May, which is usually so late that the nominee is already chosen. This year Idaho Republicans switched to the caucus system and scheduled it as early as the national party allows for awarding all of a state’s delegates, hoping to get some attention from the candidates.
The tactic worked: All four presidential candidates visited the state, and party officials report voters are caught up in the excitement.
Idaho Republicans caucus by county, and while some counties have a single location for everyone, others have multiple locations. Kootenai County, for example, has 10.
Voting at most Idaho caucuses starts at 7 p.m. local time, although Boundary and Shoshone start at 6 p.m. At most locations, the doors open up to an hour early, but once voting starts, you can’t get in.
Caucuses are only open to Republicans, so an attendee must be a registered Republican. You can, however, register that evening at the caucus site.
Attendees will cast secret ballots for the candidate of their choice. If no candidate gets a majority on the first ballot, the last-place candidate, and anyone else who didn’t get at least 15 percent of the vote, is eliminated and the remaining candidates go on the next ballot. The process continues until one candidate gets a simple majority from that caucus group.
The county results will be compiled statewide, and if one presidential candidate gets more than 50 percent of the votes, he gets all 32 of the state’s national convention delegates. If no candidate has a majority, the national convention delegates are split based on the results.
First-time attendees can find the caucuses intimidating. Some people who attend one swear they will never go again. Others find they love talking politics with friends, neighbors and perfect strangers, and as a result they get more involved in the party. Some years they are sedate affairs with the outcome known long before the first person shows up. This isn’t one of those years.
Caucus locations in Kootenai County
• Precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5: Timberlake High School, 5973 W. Highway 54, Spirit Lake.
• 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18: Lakeland High School, 7006 W. Highway 53, Rathdrum.
• 8, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 63, 64: The Greyhound Park, 5100 W. Riverbend Ave., Post Falls.
• 19, 20, 21, 22, 40: New Life Church, 6068 W. Hayden Ave., Rathdrum.
• 37, 38, 39, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45: Candlelight Christian Fellowship, 5725 N. Pioneer Drive, Coeur d’Alene
• 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61: Coeur d’Alene Resort, 115 S. Second St.
• 62, 66: Canyon School, 27491 E. School House Loop., Cataldo
• 65, 68: Mica Flats Grange, 7465 W. Kidd Island Road, Coeur d’Alene
• 67, 70, 71: Kootenai High School, 13030 E. O’Gara Road, Harrison
• 69: Worley Grange, Highway 95, Worley
Voting at all Kootenai County caucuses begins at 7 p.m.
Other North Idaho caucus locations
• Benewah County has a single location, the Benewah County Fairgrounds. Voting begins at 7 p.m.
• Bonner County has four locations; voters can select the most convenient: Blanchard Community Center, Priest River Junior High, Sandpoint High or the Filling Station Youth Center in Clark Fork. Voting begins at 7 p.m.
• Boundary County has a single location, Bonners Ferry High School. Voting begins at 6 p.m.
• Latah County voters can choose among four locations: Moscow Junior High Field House, Princeton Community Center, Troy High School, Kendrick Fire Hall. Voting begins at 7 p.m.
• Shoshone County has three locations. Silver Valley voters caucus at VFW Post 1675 in Osburn; St. Joe River area voters caucus at the Calder Store in Calder; Clarkia area voters caucus at the Benewah County Fairgrounds Walker Building. Voting in these caucuses begins at 6 p.m.