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Super Tuesday: Local DFL meets at WHS, GOP meets at East Ridge for precinct caucuses

The Presidential election comes to Woodbury on Super Tuesday this year, the first time that the state will enact a Presidential preference ballot, instead of a straw poll.

That means that your vote is binding, local Democrat and Republican leaders said. Delegates to parties’ national conventions will follow the preference of their state’s votes, at least in the initial vote on the floor of their respective national convention in July.

Wins at caucuses and primaries help Presidential candidates build momentum as they head for the nomination.

Optimism is high as Democrats seek to retain the White House and Republicans view this fall’s election as an opportunity for turnover. While the Democratic field is a two-horse race, the Republicans might not have a clear nominee until the national convention.

So precinct caucus attendees’ votes matter. Votes cast in Woodbury will help elect the next President of the United States.

Precinct caucuses are the grassroots beginning of a of political party’s process to adopt platforms, select party officers, send delegates to higher conventions, and — especially important in a Presidential election year — endorse candidates for state and national offices. Caucuses deal with matters of internal party affairs.

Any eligible voter may attend and participate in precinct caucuses, but one must choose one caucus to attend. Attendees must be eligible to vote in the 2016 general election, live in the precinct represented at the regional meetings, and be in general agreement with the principles of the political party with which they are caucusing.

Attendees may also attempt to represent the party as a delegate to the state convention. Many local advocates have gotten their start at precinct caucuses.

Caucuses start at 7 p.m. sharp on Tuesday, March 1. Typically, the event runs for up to two hours.

Chairs of local political parties are expecting long lines at the caucuses this year, and they recommend early arrival.

Where to go:

n 6 p.m. sign in, Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, Woodbury High School, 2665 Woodlane Drive

n 6:15 p.m. registration, then directly to precinct meetings in classrooms (not the gym), Republican Party, East Ridge High School, 4200 Pioneer Drive, Woodbury

In Afton, finding the right caucus might be tricky. Some residents go to one of Woodbury’s two schools, while others head to the Republican caucus at Hastings High School or the Democratic caucus at Lakeland Elementary.

It is advisable to check the Minnesota Secretary of State’s caucus finder (caucusfinder.sos.state.mn.us) before you go.

Staff at the Washington County Property Records and Taxpayers Services office will be available to answer telephone calls at 651-430-6175 until 8 p.m. March 1 for individuals trying to find their precinct caucus location.

Most caucus locations should be accessible to individuals with disabilities. Anyone needing interpretive services or caucus materials in alternate formats should call, write, or email the political party’s state office in advance for further assistance.

For more information about minor political parties, including the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party, Green Party of Minnesota, Independence Party of Minnesota, Legal Marijuana Now Party, and Libertarian Party of Minnesota, go to mnvotesinfo.sos.state.mn.us/voters/precinct-caucus.