For the first time since 2012, Missouri will hold county-level caucuses for registered Republican voters this Saturday morning. The change is due to the Missouri Legislature passing a bill in 2022. Lawmakers voted in favor of getting rid of the state’s presidential preference primaries and switching to caucuses.

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said to participate, you must be a registered Republican voter in Missouri and the county in which you plan to caucus.

“It’s not just writing something down on a ballot, checking a box. This will be friends, neighbors, your fellow individuals that live in your county,” he told Missourinet.

Ashcroft said the caucuses will involve campaign volunteers and staffers making their pitch to gain support for their choice for president.

“You have to be there before 10 ‘o clock,” he said. “At 10 ‘o clock, they close the doors. If you’re not already in line, you will not be allowed in. You do need to have already been registered and of course, you will need your government-issued photo ID to be participating in the Republican caucus.”

Since Missouri Republicans have shifted to the caucus format, what does this mean for platform and other state convention-level activities?

“It is in some respects it is a precursor to the state convention,” said Ashcroft. “This is where they will start to nominate and elect the delegates. But there’s a multi-tier process to where they’ll finally have delegates get together, convene at the state convention, they’ll winnow the number of delegates down and then those delegates will actually go to the national convention to nominate a Republican nominee for president. But it’s also a place where if people want to change the state party platform, kind of the bylaws, if you will, what the party believes and how it supposed to operate, that can all be done by starting at the caucus level to put forth changes to those that will then move through the process and get voted on at the state level.”

Democrats will hold a presidential preference primary through a combination of mail-in and in-person voting on March 23.

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