GOP caucuses, Democratic hybrid election replaces Missouri presidential primary

(The Center Square) – As millions of Missouri voters watch campaigning and presidential primaries in other states, they’re slowly becoming aware the state’s not having a primary in 2024.

Included in a 2022 omnibus elections law was a provision ending Missouri’s presidential primary, normally held the second Tuesday after the first Monday in March. The bill’s fiscal note stated Missouri will save approximately $7 million by eliminating the presidential primary. Last month, Republican Gov. Mike Parson’s budget for next year left approximately $1.5 billion in reserve.

The state’s parties are taking different approaches to select their presidential nominee.

The Missouri Republican Party will be holding its caucuses at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 2, to select its delegates to its national convention in July in Milwaukee. Participants must be registered to vote on or before Feb. 19, according to the Missouri secretary of state. Those attending the Republican caucus should bring a valid, unexpired, government-issued photo identification and can pre-register.

A winner-take-all method will determine which candidates get all of Missouri’s 54 delegates to the Republican convention. Some states allocate delegates proportionally based on voting and other methods.

Missouri Democrats will hold a hybrid election for its presidential primary. Voting will be in person on Saturday, March 23, and by mail to determine the presidential nominee and the resulting delegates for the national convention in Chicago in August.

Information posted on the Missouri Republican Party website stated caucuses will be held in each county.

“Some counties [will] host multiple caucuses if they have a large number of delegates and alternates to be elected to the congressional district election and the state convention,” according to the website.

All Missouri counties must report their Republican caucus locations by Feb. 16, according to the party website. As of Tuesday, 24 of Missouri’s 114 counties didn’t have designated locations for Republican caucuses: Andrew, Atchison, Bollinger, Carter, Cedar, Clinton, Dade, Dunklin, Hickory, Howard, Lawrence, Livingston, Macon, Madison, Mississippi, Nodaway, Perry, Pulaski, Ralls, Ripley, Ste. Genevieve, Shelby, Sullivan and Worth.

The two most populous counties in the state, St. Louis and Jackson, each have one Republican caucus site. St. Charles County, ranking third in population, has two caucus locations and participation is determined by the voter’s congressional district.

Voters desiring to participate in the Democratic presidential primary can request a ballot online or by calling (855) 433-8683. The party will begin distributing ballots on Feb. 17 and requests must be made by March 12.

Voters must be registered by Feb. 21 to be eligible to vote in the Democratic primary, “so long the voter is not registered as a Republican,” according to the party website.

In-person voting will take place on Saturday, March 23, from 8 a.m. to noon.

“Depending on final availability, at least one in-person voting site will be held in each county, with additional sites in St. Louis and Kansas City,” according to the website.

Missouri Democrats will count votes in St. Louis by March 25 and announce the results on March 28.

The Libertarian Party of Missouri will hold its 2024 convention on Feb. 24 in St. Louis.

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