ATLANTA — ATLANTA – Voters in Nevada will attend that state’s caucus this Saturday as the country continues the process of choosing the final candidates for President.
Nevada is one of only four states that still use the caucus system to nominate a candidate. Georgia and most other states use the primary system.
You’re familiar with Georgia’s primary system, where you enter a booth, cast your vote, and you’re done.
A caucus is more complicated.
You gather with other voters at a specific time. Your candidate of choice may not get enough support, so you can change your mind.
“You get to have more involvement,” says University of Georgia Political Science professor Charles Bullock. “You can make a second and even third choice.”
There is discussion and debate.
“They really love the fellowship they love the dialog,” says political consultant Tharon Johnson of Paramount Consulting Group. “They want to be able to compare and contrast if their candidate is better than another.”
There are also issues that have caused some states to abandon the caucus system in recent years. Results from the Iowa caucus were delayed due to issues there.
For the voters, there’s a big-time commitment involved.
“You go with the anticipation that you’re going to be there several hours,” says Bullock. “If you’ve got children, you need to get a babysitter. “If you work a late shift you probably can’t go.”
Typically, about 10% of the voters in caucus states show up. It’s closer to 35-40% in primary states.
Colorado and Minnesota switched from a caucus system to primary voting this year.