How Kentucky's first GOP Caucus will work

How Kentucky's first GOP Caucus will work

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - On Saturday, March 5, Kentucky Republicans will vote in the Bluegrass State's first-ever presidential caucus.

The move from a primary process to a caucus was spearheaded by Senator Rand Paul's campaign so he could appear on ballots in the race for the White House and reelection to his senate seat, at the same time.

With switching to a caucus came an earlier voting date for Republicans, just a handful of days after Super Tuesday, making Kentucky relevant in the GOP presidential nominating process, arguably, for the first time ever.

"We're doing it at a time now when candidates are actively competing for votes," Mike Biagi, executive director of the Republican Party of Kentucky, said. "They still need other states, and they still need Kentucky's delegates to secure the nomination."

Kentucky's delegates are at play at a critical point in the race for the first time.

As a result, two GOP candidates made campaign stops in Kentucky in the week ahead.

Donald Trump, the candidate with the most delegates so far, stumped in Louisville at the Kentucky International Convention Center on Tuesday. A campaign stop in Kentucky on Super Tuesday shows that Trump has his sights set on the convention, and sweeping as many states as possible.

Dr. Ben Carson, the GOP candidate with the fewest delegates, campaigned in Lexington on Monday at the HIT Center, although he all but suspended his campaign on Wednesday.

On caucus day, polls will open at 10 a.m. and close at 4 p.m. local time.

Only voters registered as Republicans by Dec. 31, 2015 will be able to vote.

All voters will be required to show identification.

A big change from the primary process, "there will also be a campaigning area where presidential candidates will send representatives to distribute literature and answer questions," according to Biagi.

You'll also notice 11 candidates on the ballot.

All candidates who filed by the deadline will remain on the ballot, though, Biagi said information will be posted at polling locations reminding voters which candidates have suspended their campaigns.

Unlike some caucuses, there will be no wrangling of votes and butting heads with neighbors. All voting will be in secret.

Biagi said results will begin rolling in as early as 7 p.m. the night of the caucus.

Kentucky's 46 delegates will be awarded "proportionally, based on the results of the caucus," according to Biagi. This means that if a candidate gets 50 percent of the vote, he will be awarded 50 percent of the delegates. Candidates must have at least five-percent of the vote to get any delegates, however.

"We feel good about it," said Biagi, "It's been a lot of work, a lot of preparation."

Most counties will have only one polling location for the caucus, but some more populous counties, like Jefferson County, will have several.

To find your polling location, click here.

"It's been really exciting because [Kentucky] hasn't been relevant in the nomination for president in 40 years," Biagi said.

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