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Changes in Store for Idaho Democratic Presidential Caucus

The Idaho Democratic Caucus is making some changes this year. (vepar5/iStockphotos)
The Idaho Democratic Caucus is making some changes this year. (vepar5/iStockphotos)
February 4, 2016

BOISE, Idaho - With the Iowa caucuses fresh in people's minds the Democratic Party is making some big changes in the Idaho presidential caucus. The changes are designed to increase the state's influence and raise the number of people who attend the caucus.

The Democratic National Committee has awarded Idaho three bonus delegates, so the Gem State will now have 27 delegates to decide between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders at the convention in Philadelphia in late July. Sally Boynton Brown is executive director of the Idaho Democratic Party.

"The DNC awards bonus delegates based on the timing of your caucus in conjunction with neighboring states," she says. "Utah, Arizona and Idaho are all holding their caucus on March 22."

This is not to be confused with the Idaho Republican Party's closed presidential primary on March 8 or with the local, state and federal primary election on May 17. The other big change is in the timing on the day of the Democratic caucus itself. It will now start an hour later.

Brown hopes the move will increase turnout.

"Folks up north really felt like they needed the extra time to get people in before the doors closed," she says. "So the Pacific Time caucuses will be held at 6 p.m. And simultaneously the Mountain Time caucuses would be held at 7 p.m."

Democrats make up about 25 percent of the electorate in Idaho and their caucus is open to people of all political persuasions. The Democrats are holding a series of webinars over the next month to train people to become a state delegate to the convention.

For more information, go to IdahoDems.org.




Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - ID