DES MOINES — Schools, churches, American Legion Posts, a bank and an insurance agency are among the sites where precinct meetings will be held for Monday’s Iowa Caucuses. Republicans in 28 Iowa counties, however, have made plans to have all precincts in the county meet at one location.
Wapello County Republicans will be gathering at Ottumwa High School.
“We have done this because when I started doing Caucuses, which is about 25 years ago, we only had about 700 people that attended,” Wapello County Republican Party chair Trudy Caviness told Radio Iowa. “in 2016, we had about 1800 people.”
Caviness said the weather could make it difficult for some rural residents to make it to Ottumwa Monday night, but she said given the number of phone calls she’s fielding, the wind chill may not dampen turnout.
“I’ve heard from a lot of people who have never Caucused before and they’re excited about it,” Caviness said. “They want to know the procedures and what happens and so I think we’re going to have pretty robust turnout.”
Denny Werkmeister is O’Brien County GOP chairman and Republicans in his county will be meeting at the Harley-Melvin-Sanborn High School Monday night.
“It makes reporting (results) easier if we’re all at one location. We also get a better handle, I think, on the number of people who are attending,” he told Radio Iowa. “Just logistics wise, it’s a benefit.”
His guess on turnout? “That’s a good question,” Werkmeister said, with a laugh. “I think with the presidential race and some of the issues that are going on, I think the turn-out will be good.”
Most of the 28 counties that opted to have one site for all precincts in the county have reserved space at a school or community college, but Adams County Republicans will be meeting at the Opera House in Corning.
Plans for these “super sites” were in the works before the weather took a turn. Here’s the list of counties where all precincts will meet in one location in the county: Adams, Adair, Calhoun, Clay, Crawford, Davis, Delaware, Dickinson, Emmet, Floyd, Franklin, Humboldt, Ida, Lucas, Monona, Monroe, Montgomery, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Ringgold, Sac, Shelby, Wapello, Wayne, Webster, Worth, Wright.)
Now those counties locally that only have one location include:
== Floyd — Washington Elementary School in Charles CIty
== Franklin — Hampton-Dumont High School in Hampton
== Worth — Central Springs High School in Manly
== Wright — Belmond-Klemme High School in Wright
For Cerro Gordo County Republicans:
— All Mason City precincts will be held at Mason City High School except for one. Those who live in Ward One Precinct Three will meet at Praise Community Church at 11 2nd Northwest
— All three Clear Lake wards will meet at Clear Lake High School
— The Clear Lake/Grant/Union Townships precinct will meet at the Ventura Community Center
— Falls Township will meet at the Rock Falls Community Center
— The Geneseo/Dougherty Townships will meet at West Fork Elementary School in Rockwell
— Grimes Township meets at the Thornton Community Center
— Both the Lime Creek/Mason North Townships precinct, as well as the Mason South/Bath/Portland/Owen Townships precinct will meet at Lincoln Intermediate School in Mason City
— The Lake/Lincoln Townships will meet at the Open Bible Church in Clear Lake
— The Mt. Vernon/Pleasant Valley Townships precinct will meet at the Swaledale Town Hall
DES MOINES — Iowa Democrats will hold Caucuses Monday, too, but they no longer go first in their party’s presidential nominating process.
The party has begun mailing out presidential preference cards. “This is a new, a new animal.” And Iowa Democratic Party chair Rita Hart says the results from that mail-in process will be announced March 5th. “It’s really important that everyone, you know, have their opportunity to have their voices heard. And I think the great thing about it is, this is going to be so easy,” Hart says.
Hart says Iowa Democrats still take their role in the political process seriously. “They recognize that their voice does matter and that it’s their civic responsibility to participate,” says Hart.
Arguing over candidates in person will not be Monday night’s focus, according to Hart. She says it will be about party business. “That’s where we choose our precinct captains,” says Hart. “That’s where we choose our representatives that go on to the national convention. That’s where we have our platform resolutions. That’s the beginning of that process, all those things are really important to the party itself.”
Like The Iowa Republican Party’s Caucuses, the Iowa Democratic Party’s Caucuses will begin at 7 p.m. Monday.
In Cerro Gordo County, all Democratic Party caucuses will take place at Roosevelt Elementary School in Mason City