Minnesota’s 2024 precinct caucuses are Tuesday. Here’s how to participate

Two people stand at podium02
Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman David Hann (left) and DFL Chairman Ken Martin speak at a press conference on Monday at the St. Paul Capitol, encouraging Minnesotans to participate in the upcoming caucuses and to vote in the presidential primary.
Ellie Roth | MPR News

Minnesota’s major political parties will come to order across thousands of precinct sites for the 2024 caucus on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The caucuses are local meetings where political parties hear from candidates and begin setting party platforms.

On Monday, Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman David Hann and DFL Chairman Ken Martin came together to stress the importance of caucus participation.

“We are unique in this country in the sense that we have as state parties this amazing ability for an average person to show up and have a huge say in our party process,” Martin said. “Neither one of our parties are top down … and that’s because of this unique system of precinct caucuses and conventions that we have that really give the power to everyday activists to have a say in their party.”

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Hann said he hoped the joint promotion of caucuses sends a message that the caucus process is worthwhile and fair.

“We are not enemies, we are competitors,” Hann said. “We have different views of what the best way to achieve the goals that we believe are going to serve the interests of the whole state.”

Minnesota’s presidential primary is March 5, also known as Super Tuesday. In 2020, Minnesota switched to a presidential primary; prior to that, caucus goers would participate in presidential preference straw polls at the caucuses to cast their vote for a presidential candidate. This year’s precinct caucuses are more focused on electing local leaders and delegates to state conventions, rather than selecting a presidential nominee.

What happens at the caucus?

Each major political party runs their caucus a little differently. But generally, there are three main activities that happen at a caucus, according to the Secretary of State’s website.

They range from identifying volunteers to discussing pressing matters on the minds of voters. It’s possible for anybody to bring a resolution and argue for it to be forwarded for consideration for the party’s platform. DFL Chairman Ken Martin said the idea for the Peace Corps originally came from a precinct caucus in Ely.

But one of the main orders of business is to decide delegates for future conventions, beginning with those in the region and potentially state conventions later on. These delegates will endorse state and federal candidates. Each party has a different way of choosing delegates at the precinct level caucus.

How do I find my caucus location?

You can find your caucus by plugging your address into the Secretary of State’s Caucus Finder tool. Each political party has a different caucus site. The Legal Marijuana Now Party is holding its caucus in Bloomington with a virtual option.

Who can participate in a caucus?

Each political party has different qualifications for who can participate in the caucus process. To participate in a DFL caucus voters must be at least 16 years old and generally agree with the principles of the party. To participate in the GOP caucus, voters must be eligible to vote in the 2024 election and also affirm they generally agree with the principles of the party.

Those who would like to participate in the Legal Marijuana Now precinct caucus should contact their local party chapter for requirement details.