Today in sacrament meeting my bishop read a letter from the First Presidency encouraging members in Utah to be involved in their precinct’s caucuses this Tuesday (March 25). (I’m uncertain whether similar calls were made to members in other states, but no doubt the same principle of political involvement is at play.) Interestingly, this letter also stated that there are principles from all major political parties that are consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
So because of this announcement I started snooping around regarding what exactly these caucuses are, and in turns out that it is one of the best ways for “average” citizens to make a difference politically. At caucuses precinct officers, legislative chairs, and county delegates are selected — and the more that average everyday voters are a part of this process, the more that democratic principles are ensured. One of the problems in Utah is that a one-party system has gone unchallenged for so long, which has lead to political ambivalence among most citizens as well as ridiculous extremism in the Utah legislature (which the Church — the politically neutral Church, mind you — has recently spoken up about). There is a really good article by George Handley, a comparative literature professor at BYU, about all of this.
Therefore, I am personally encouraging all average, ordinary voting-age Church members in Utah to attend their precinct’s caucus on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. (as well as those in other states, but I don’t have any information about that). Location and other information can be found on the Utah websites for each party: Utah Republicans and Utah Democrats. Any person registered to vote (regardless of party affiliation) can participate in their precinct’s Democratic or Republican caucuses (I don’t know about other parties (e.g., Green, Libertarian), or even if they are holding caucuses Tuedsay evening).
Registered Utah voters can verify their precinct and party affiliation here. However, the polling location that is listed (where you vote) is quite likely not the same location for your precinct’s caucus. You need to use the party websites (above) to find the right location for your precinct number (typically there are several precincts at the same location).