Caucuses in Iowa
Key Facts About Caucuses
- The Auditor’s Office has no official role in the organization or conduct of caucuses, or the reporting of caucus results. Caucuses are organized and conducted by the political parties.
- The Auditor’s Office will post caucus locations when received from the parties.
- A caucus is not an election.
- There are no absentee ballots for a caucus.
- The recognized political parties in Iowa are Democratic and Republican
- Though voters may register as Green or Libertarian, these groups are legally termed "non-party political organization" (NPPO) and do not hold caucuses or primaries.
- You must register with the party whose caucus you attend.
- You must be registered to vote to participate in a caucus, but you may register or change your registration at the caucus site.
- The Auditor’s Office recommends that any voter who registers or updates their registration after January 1 bring their voter registration card with them to the caucus site. Because the parties obtain voter lists well in advance of caucus night, it is possible that recent registrants may not appear on the list at the site.
- To participate in caucus, you must be eligible to vote by the general election date. In 2020, you must be 18 on or before Tuesday, Nov. 3.
- Please contact the party of your choice for more information about caucuses.
In even-numbered years, each political party holds a separate caucus in each precinct to select delegates to the party’s county convention. In 2020, the Iowa Caucuses are scheduled for Monday, Feb. 3.
In Iowa, the office of President (and Vice President) of the United States is only on the ballot for the General Election; Iowa does not have a Presidential Primary Election. The Democratic and Republican parties hold caucuses to determine delegates for the county, and ultimately, the district, state and national conventions. The parties’ national conventions then select their parties’ nominees for President and Vice President.
Per the Code of Iowa, the state central committees of the parties set the date of the caucus. By law, caucus must be held "at least eight days earlier than the scheduled date for any meeting, caucus, or primary which constitutes the first determining stage of the presidential nominating process in any other state, territory, or any other group which has the authority to select delegates in the presidential nomination." Caucus must be scheduled no later than the fourth Monday in February.