Breaking News
More (0) »

Atlanta's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Atlanta, Georgia | 11alive.com

How is the Iowa Caucus different from the Georgia Primary?

The process in Iowa does not involve a voting booth, and can even happen inside someone's home.

ATLANTA — Democratic presidential hopefuls face their first official test on Monday evening when the Iowa Caucus gets underway. 

As people choose who they want to see in the race for the White House, the process in Iowa is vastly different from what we do here in Georgia.

The process there does not involve a voting booth, and can even happen inside someone's home.

The decisions in this first-in-the-nation event could lead some of the 11 remaining Democratic candidates to drop out of the race.

Caucuses in Iowa work differently, depending on your political party.

Most people will be focused on the Democratic race in this year's Iowa Caucus, where it is not a matter of a simple vote on a ballot that determines who rules the night. 

As for locations - it can happen in churches, schools, libraries, and even private living rooms. There are no voting booths and you have to be on time, or you cannot participate.

And that is just the beginning of the process.

The Democratic Caucus is based on discussions. After hearing from each of the candidates, supporters split into different groups and proceed to convince anyone who is undecided to join their team.

Then, organizers count the number of supporters in each candidate's group. Groups with at least 15 percent support in that particular location are considered viable and can remain in the running. 

People in groups that do not reach that benchmark must decide to join one of the other remaining groups, try to increase their own numbers, declare themselves undecided, or go home. That process is called a realignment.

After the realignment, organizers re-count the number of persons in each group and delegates are assigned based on those numbers. Then, the results are tabulated and reported.

RELATED: How well do the Iowa caucuses predict the presidential race?

Republicans, on the other hand, use a secret ballot to declare their choice during their caucus. Ballots are counted in that instance, and participants head home.

State delegates are then filtered to national convention delegates. Since President Trump has little opposition for the Republican nomination, that caucus is not as important to follow.

As for the Democrats - the winner will be the candidate who receives the most state delegate equivalents after the realignment process.

There are 1,679 precincts in Iowa, with several satellite caucuses held outside the state and a few internationally, for those unable to travel to a caucus location.

On Monday night, Democrats in Iowa said they expect to top their record turnout of 2008, when they say that nearly 240,000 people took part.

And while she won't be caucusing herself, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is in Iowa supporting her pick for the White House - former Vice President Joe Biden.


Trump bashes Democratic rivals during Super Bowl pregame show interview

Final installment of Iowa Poll not being released following respondent complaint

John Delaney drops out of 2020 presidential race

President Donald Trump, Michael Bloomberg debut dueling Super Bowl ads