I Am Going to Be Out of My County on Saturday, How Do I Vote?
We have had MANY people asking this the last couple days, unfortunately, the deadline for absentee ballots was February 19th, a date set by the Republican Party of Kentucky. I wish I had better news for those asking!
Please note that you can still vote in the primary on May 17th for all offices OTHER than president, and we hope you do.
How Many Delegates Does Kentucky Have?
Kentucky has 46 delegates that will be split up based on the number of caucus votes each of the Republican Presidential Candidates receives. A candidate must receive five percent of the vote to be awarded a portion of the delegates.
What Identification will I need to Caucus?
Bring your Driver’s License, Social Security Card, any ID that contains your picture and signature, or a credit card. (If you are personally known by a caucus official who is willing to vouch for your identity, that will work as well.)
Do I have to be at the Caucus for the whole 6 hours?
No! You will go into your Caucus location, pick up a ballot that will have all the presidential candidates on it, along with an “undecided” block. It will even include some of the candidates that have suspended their campaign. (Be sure to check our Candidates page for the most up-to-date list before you go to Caucus.)
You will select ONE of those running and cast your ballot. That’s it. It’s not like the “persuasion” process of the Iowa Caucus — but there may be tables set up at your Caucus location by different Candidates which is different than an election or primary. If you want a more verbose answer to how this will work, please refer to the Official Rules PDF.
Will There Still Be A Republican Primary in Kentucky?
YES! The Kentucky Republican Caucus is for Presidential candidates ONLY. The Primary will be held for all other offices including US Senators, US Representatives, State Senators, State Representatives, Ky Supreme Court Justice, etc.
Please be sure to vote in the Primary to be held on May 17th from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The last day to register to vote in the primary is April 18th. Register by visiting the Kentucky Secretary of State’s website.
Why Isn’t The Caucus Being Advertised?
We, at KYCaucus.com would like an answer to that question as well. We launched this website when the Caucus was only 4 months away, and there was no “official” information on the Caucus available on the RPK site, or anywhere else.
Since that time, on February 5, 2016, the AP News Wire published an article which stated that no advertising was planned for the Caucus by RPK.
“Republican Party of Kentucky Executive Director Mike Biagi said the party is promoting the caucus through social media. But they don’t plan to purchase advertising, hoping the candidates will do that for them. That has not happened yet, with just 52 ads airing in Lexington and Bowling Green through January, according to an analysis of data by the Center for Public Integrity.”
On February 15th, WDRB reported that the RPK “is not planning to fund a voter information campaign, relying instead on social media and individual county parties to spread the word.”
It is unfortunate that advertising was not coordinated to inform the general voting population of the change to the format this year PRIOR to the December 31st, 2015 deadline to register Republican and participate in the caucus. It is also unfortunate that there seem to be so many questions that remain about the caucus.
We, at KYCaucus.com, are not affiliated with RPK, we launched this website to help inform people when it became obvious that little was being done, officially, to do so. We have worked hard to make sure this site appears when people search for Caucus information. We continue to answer questions as they come in and add more answers to this FAQ to help people better understand the caucus.
Please help us by sharing this website on your social media pages, and with your family and friends, so more people will understand the caucus, find the information they need and participate in our electoral process.
Who is Paying for the Caucus?
We have received a number of questions about how the Caucus has been financed, if tax money was being spent to hold the Kentucky Presidential Caucus, and who made the decision to hold a Caucus. The Republican Party of Kentucky made the decision, with the understanding that Rand Paul, a proponent of the Caucus, would foot the bill.
So far, Rand Paul has paid $250K of the estimated $400-500K cost to hold the Caucus, and has pledged an additional $200K. Additionally, each of the 11 candidates who filed to participate in the caucus had to pay $15K each (for a total of $165K from candidates alone).
According to this news article, Sen. Mitch McConnell endorsed the Caucus.
Is the Caucus Still On, Even Without Rand Paul?
Yes, the 2016 Kentucky Republican Presidential Caucus will still be held, as planned. There seem to be some unfounded, incorrect rumors to the contrary being circulated by our liberal neighbors.
We would hope this is the result of misinformation on their part and not intentional attempts to lower participation in the caucus, but we don’t know.
Please Note: Every Presidential Candidate who filed to participate in the Caucus will still appear on the ballot on March 5th — even those who have suspended their campaigns since that time.
Where Do I Vote in the 2016 Kentucky Republican Caucus?
We have JUST the tool for you. Visit our interactive 2016 Kentucky Caucus Voting Locations Map and select your county from the map (or from the list of Kentucky counties) to find out where you go to vote, any additional information we have on the Republican Party in your county, and even driving directions to your voting location!
How Is the Caucus Event Different from a Primary?
In addition to being a deciding state for the GOP Presidential Candidate, the Kentucky Caucus (unlike a Presidential Primary) will allow presidential candidates to set up an informational table with written materials.
The candidates will be allowed up to two volunteers at the caucus location: One to hand out materials and answer voter questions and a second to monitor and/or record information about the voter check-in process. Once the voter has checked in and had their questions answered, they will cast their vote in the caucus.
The Presidential Candidates are also permitted to visit the Caucus sites, although they may not give speeches inside the caucus location or go within 25 feet of the designated voting area.
When Will the Caucus Happen?
On March 5, 2016, the Commonwealth of Kentucky will hold its first Republican Presidential Caucus. The caucus will be held from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. local time. The locations for the caucus will be announced soon.
May I Vote in the 2016 Kentucky Caucus?
Only registered Republicans will be permitted to vote in this historic caucus. If you want to vote in this caucus, and are not currently a registered Republican, you must register to vote or change your voter registration to Republican by December 31, 2015.
To register as a you may fill out a Kentucky Voter Registration Card in person at your local County Court Clerk’s Office or you may Download a Kentucky Voter Registration and change your registration by mail. You may also download your registration form, fill it out and take it to your County Court Clerk’s office or the Drivers License Office in your county.
When Should I Register to Vote in The Caucus?
Now. Don’t wait, you must have your registration changed no later than December 31, 2015. But, you should realize that many county clerks offices will be closed on New Years Eve — so get yours in EARLY. Making the change early will help you to ensure that your paperwork goes through in time.
Once you have made the change you should receive a postcard verifying your affiliation change. This will usually arrive within 3 weeks. It will also give you information on where you are to vote (your precinct).
If you do not receive your card, check with your local County Clerk’s Office. You can also check your political affiliation online to be sure the change went through prior to December 31, 2015.
How Can I Check My Current Political Affiliation?
If you aren’t sure how you are currently registered, you may check your voter registration information online, or you may find out by visiting your County Clerk’s Office or Drivers License Office.
What if I’m Deployed Military, a Student, or Will Be Out of State When the Caucus is Held? Is there an Absentee Ballot Available?
If you won’t be here for an election, you may download an absentee ballot here:
February 19, 2016 is the last day to request an application for an absentee ballot and the ballots must be received by March 4th, 2016, regardless of the postmark. Be sure to mail early so your caucus vote will be counted.
How is Kentucky’s Caucus Different From the Iowa Caucus?
The Iowa Caucus is the result of multiple precinct caucuses. Voters from the caucuses vote to elect delegates to go to the county conventions. Iowa has 99 counties, so they have 99 conventions. The representatives from those county conventions then determine the delegates to attend the state’s district convention and state convention. Those congressional and state conventions then determine the delegates for the Presidential Nominating Convention. The Iowa Caucus will be held February 1, 2016. Iowa allows 17-year-olds (who will be 18 by election day) to participate in their caucus.
The Kentucky Caucus will be held by each county (or designated location, if the counties do not have individual caucus locations) and each voter will be given a single vote and may only vote for one candidate, or mark “uncommitted” on their ballot. All county votes will be tabulated separately.
Any candidate that receives at least 5% of the vote statewide, “shall be awarded a pro rata portion of the authorized delegate vote for the Kentucky Republican Party at the Republican National Convention.”
Why Should I Vote in the Kentucky Caucus in 2016?
Voting in the 2016 Kentucky Caucus means you will be a participant in making history. This is the first time the Republican party has held a Presidential Caucus in this state.
Using the Republican Primary, as we have in the past, means that Kentucky’s “voice” isn’t heard on the Presidential political stage until late in the game — in May.
Steve Robertson, former Chairman of the Republican Party of Kentucky, said it best: “Republicans across Kentucky will now have an early and relevant say in the 2016 presidential primary process.”
Will All GOP Presidential Candidates Participate in the Kentucky Caucus?
In order to participate in the caucus and have his or her name appear on the caucus ballot, a GOP Presidential candidate’s campaign committee must ensure that the candidate:
- Is registered as a Republican presidential candidate with the Federal Election Commission
- Files a Declaration of Candidacy with the Secretary of the Republican State Central Committee
- Remits a filing fee of $15,000 to the Republican Party of Kentucky’s federal election account
- Submits all of the above must be received at RPK Headquarters on/before 5:00 p.m.(EST) on January 7, 2016
If I Vote in the Caucus, Can I Still Vote in the Primary May 17th?
Yes! And you should! The Caucus is for the Republican Presidential Candidates ONLY. The rest of the candidates for other important races will be determined during the Primary. Please note that three days after the Kentucky Caucus, some districts will also have a Special election (vote in those too!)
In order to vote, do Republicans have to participate in the March Caucus?
You will be able to vote in the Primary (for non-Presidential offices) on May 17th and in the General Election on November 8th, even if you don’t vote in the Caucus. However, the only chance you will get to cast your vote to decide who is nominated as the Republican Presidential Candidate will be at the Caucus on March 5th.
Voting in the Caucus also means that Kentucky will be an “influencer” to a much greater degree than in the past because we will be making our decision earlier this year. Since this is the first Republican Presidential Caucus for Kentucky in history — don’t you want to be a part of that?
What if I work on Saturday during Caucus hours and my boss won’t let me leave to participate?
Unfortunately, your employer isn’t required to let you off to Caucus. We have been in contact with the Republican Party of Kentucky (RPK) about this issue, by email and by phone. After talking with their “hotline” we were told that they couldn’t help us with this situation.
We advise that anyone who will not be able to participate because they are working, lodge a complaint to the RPK, and request that this be added to the reasons for requesting an absentee ballot. You may also want to “write in” your own box on their absentee form to see if they will send you a ballot this year. There are no guarantees this will work, but it can’t hurt! 🙂
Please note: We are not affiliated with the RPK (we are two Kentucky-based web designers who created this website when there was no central repository available for Caucus information.) Since that time, we have done our best to answer questions and to continue to post more answers to the questions we receive on this FAQ and we will continue to do so. Our goal is to help more people understand and participate in the Caucus, and in the electoral process in general.
What States Are Holding Their Caucus on The Same Day As Kentucky (March 5th, 2016)?
Maine, Nebraska and Kansas will also be holding their Presidential Caucuses on March 5th. Louisiana will be holding their primary on the same day.
May I Bring My Child With Me To the Caucus Location?
Yes! From the official Caucus rules, “A minor child in the company of a voter may accompany the voter into a voting area or other private area provided for casting a vote, at the voter’s discretion.”
(And, what a wonderful opportunity this would be to begin educating your child about the electoral process!)