POLITICS & ELECTIONS

What is a caucus? How to vote in Utah’s Republican, Democratic presidential contests Tuesday

Feb 29, 2024, 4:01 PM

voting location...

FILE (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

(Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — The November presidential election is still months away, but Utahns will have the chance to weigh in on who advances from each major party on March 5.

If you’re still getting caught up on the 2024 campaign, here’s a quick guide for the race to the White House and how to participate in Utah:

How to vote in the GOP caucus

Rather than holding a traditional primary election, the Utah Republican Party opted to award delegates through a “presidential preference poll” during caucus meetings on March 5, also known as “Super Tuesday,” when 15 states and one territory will select more than a third of all delegates.

Registered Republicans will gather across the state in neighborhood or precinct caucus meetings to vote in the presidential preference poll. Most caucuses will meet at 7 p.m. on March 5 at local public schools, with registration open at 6 p.m.

Only registered Republicans can participate in the party’s caucuses and presidential votes. You can register here. To find your caucus location, click here or contact your county Republican Party.

Deadline to request a Democratic ballot

Democratic delegates will be awarded through a traditional primary election, with vote-by-mail and in-person options. Unlike the Republican caucus, anyone can vote in the Democratic primary, but those who are not registered with the party will need to request a ballot from their county clerk’s office.

County clerks will begin mailing ballots to registered Democrats on Feb. 13, and mail-in ballots must be postmarked by March 4 to be counted. It’s too late to register to vote in the primary and too late to request a by-mail ballot.

You can still vote in person. Click here to find a location. The last day for early voting is Friday, March 1.

Who is running for president?

Although 2024 is shaping up to be a repeat matchup of the 2020 race between former Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic President Joe Biden, the race is not officially decided and both major party nominees face challengers from within their own party.

Republicans

  • Trump is considered the frontrunner for the GOP nomination. Trump was elected in 2016 and is running for a second nonconsecutive term after losing to Biden in 2020. Trump leads the GOP delegate count after votes in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and the Virgin Islands.
  • Nikki Haley is a former governor of South Carolina and served as United Nations ambassador during Trump’s first term. Haley is the only remaining Republican to have earned delegates, after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy dropped out.
  • Businessman and pastor Ryan Binkley is also running for the party nomination, though he has not collected any delegates or polled high enough to qualify for any of the Republican debates.

Democrats

  • Biden is expected to easily win the Democratic primary. Biden was a longtime senator and served as vice president alongside former President Barack Obama.
  • Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota is the main Democratic challenger to Biden’s incumbency. Phillips agrees in large part with the president’s policies but has said the party should nominate someone else due to Biden’s age and low approval ratings.
  • Author Marianne Williamson has suspended her campaign, but will still be on the Democratic primary ballot in Utah. Entrepreneurs Frank Lozada and Gabriel Cornejo will also be on the ballot.

Independent

Independent candidates won’t appear on the primary election ballots, but longtime environmental lawyer and anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has qualified for ballot access in Utah for the general election.

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What is a caucus? How to vote in Utah’s Republican, Democratic presidential contests Tuesday