Vail Daily column: Be heard at next week’s caucus | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily column: Be heard at next week’s caucus

Kaye Ferry
Valley Voices

Last time we discussed what a caucus is and went through the history of the caucus system; this time we'll get down to the details.

As proscribed by state law, all major political parties will hold a caucus, with the Republicans' slated for March 1, promptly at 7 p.m. This year's largest Eagle County Republican caucus will be held at Battle Mountain High School; 25 of 30 precincts will attend in this one location. The exceptions will be precinct 10, which will meet at 1690 Derby Mesa Loop in Burns, and the four precincts in Roaring Fork Valley (7, 8, 24, 25), which will meet at Eagle County Building in El Jebel.

Who can attend?

The caucus is open to the public, but in order to participate in the voting process or to be elected to a position of precinct committee person, delegate or alternate, you must be registered to vote in the state of Colorado and be affiliated with the Republican Party at least two months prior to the caucus. Additionally, you must be a resident of the precinct that you wish to participate with for 30 days prior to the caucus. Participation by absentee ballot or proxy is not allowed at any level of the process.

How do you register?

The easiest and most efficient way is to register online. By doing so, you can avoid the long lines at check-in and pick up your packet of information in the express line. You may register online at http://www.caucus.cologop.org. You will then receive a prompt to fill in your address and ZIP code. With a few more clicks, you'll be ready to go.

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What happens at the caucus?

Attendees will be grouped by precinct and will start by electing a chair and secretary for the night's event. And while we've got everyone in the room, we take the opportunity to recruit election judges and volunteers for all upcoming events.

The first order of official business is to elect two precinct committee persons from each precinct to serve as local officers of the Eagle County Republican Party Central Committee. The job of the precinct committee persons is to act as a liaison with registered Republicans in their precinct. They will also vote on local party issues as well as elect the Eagle County Republican Executive Committee.

Secondly, delegates and alternates to the County Assembly will be elected. The Republican County Assembly is scheduled for March 19 at 10 a.m. at the Eagle County Building in Eagle.

The last item of business is to discuss and approve or reject any resolutions to the party platform. These resolutions will be forwarded to the resolutions committee, who will present them at the County Assembly for action and can be prepared ahead of time by using the form on http://www.eaglegop.com

Are guests Or observers allowed?

You bet. In fact in the 2012 caucus, we had 585 participants, and about 50 of those were guests. Some were guests of local registered Republicans and some were here on vacation and just wanted to be a part of the process.

In addition to the required business of the caucus, candidates may be present as well as material on their campaigns.

So that's the caucus in a nutshell. Next we'll move to the County Assembly and then the District and State Assemblies as well as the National Convention. Since this is a presidential election year, there is a National Convention.

But remember, if you want to be a delegate or alternate to the County Assembly, you must be elected at the caucus. This is your chance to participate and be heard, This is your chance to help choose the leaders of the party and perhaps our county, our state and the federal government. This is your chance. Don't blow it.

For questions, contact kaye@kayeferry.com

Kaye Ferry is chairwoman of the Eagle County Republicans.

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