On Saturday, March 24, Jackson County will hold a caucus to select delegates for the congressional and state Republican Party conventions. Since this process is new to Missouri, I have had several requests to explain the process and give voters an idea of what to expect. Below is a general description of what is most likely to occur.
The caucus will begin at 10:00 a.m. It will be held at the Bernard Campbell Performing Arts Center, 400 SE Blue Parkway, Lee’s Summit, MO, 64063. This is located on the Lee’s Summit High School campus, off Highways 50 and 291, behind the Missouri State Highway Patrol station.
You will need to arrive prior to the start, as the doors will close at 10:00 a.m., promptly. Please bring your voter ID card and a photo ID. As this is a party caucus, voters will be asked to confirm they are supporters of the party.
The first order of business will be to elect a chairperson for the caucus. The chairperson will have to follow a set agenda, but will have control over the meeting. The next step will be to elect a secretary. The secretary will keep minutes and help with logistics. A parliamentarian may be appointed or elected to be available to settle questions on rules. The meeting will be run using Robert’s Rules of Order, the same rules used during debate in both chambers of the Missouri General Assembly.
The next item will be to vote on rules. The rules will determine how the caucus votes on delegates. For instance, some counties have voted on individuals as delegates, while some have used slates — a list of candidates and offices to be considered for nomination, appointment or election. Some counties have bound their delegates to specific candidates, some have not. Some counties have picked all delegates by caucus vote only, while others used the primary results to either completely or proportionately assign delegates.
Once the rules are set, a vote on delegates or delegate slates will be next. There is no direct vote for a candidate in Missouri caucuses. A few counties have held straw polls, but they are non-binding. Delegates will be elected to attend the state convention and the congressional conventions for the 5th and 6th congressional districts.
Finally, there will be a discussion and a vote or votes on the party platform. This process has taken different forms in different counties and can range from a single vote on the proposed platform to discussion and individual votes on each platform item.
Since this is a new way to choose delegates, I urge all voters to attend the caucus and to be patient with the process. Since the process involves a lot of input from the voters, I also urge everyone to follow the rules and be respectful of elected leaders and the group as a whole. I look forward to seeing you there.
Please feel free to contact the 8th Senatorial District’s Capitol office with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and trying to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at 573-751-1464, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.