Big turnouts expected at Saturday's caucuses; Here's what you need to know

Published: Mar. 3, 2016 at 6:17 PM CST
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Presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Sens. Bernie Sanders, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz all paid a visit to Kansas in the week leading into the caucus. Kansas lawmakers say they haven't seen Kansas get this much candidate attention since the 2008 election.

"There's a lot of attention being given to Kansas. Often times in the calendar of primaries and caucuses, the nomination is already done by now. But in both the Republican and Democratic races, it's very competitive and that's why Kansas does matter," said Sen. Anthony Hensley.

Senator Hensley remains undecided as to which candidate he'll be endorsing. Senator Susan Wagle believes young voters will hit the polls harder than ever before.

"People are realizing that our votes count and they want change. People are very anti-establishment right now. They want to fix what's broken in this country and they're going to go to the polls because they know our delegate count this year matter," said Sen. Susan Wagle.

Senator Terry Bruce announced that he is the co-chair of Marco Rubio’s Kansas leadership team along with Representative Erin Davis. He’ll be attending Saturday’s Republican Caucus in Hutchinson, Kansas.

"We're predicting that we're going to have a huge amount of Caucus voters. We're expecting 150 percent what it was 4 years ago. This is the first time they've spent this amount of attention on Kansas. Prepare for a little longer wait than normal," said Sen. Terry Bruce.

The GOP caucus has 102 sites. Voters can go to any location at any time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday to vote by secret ballot. GOP caucus voters must already have been a registered Republican by February 4 in order to participate.

Kansas has 40 delegates to the Republican National Convention. They are split proportionately according to votes among candidates receiving more than 10 percent of the vote. Separate allocations are made for statewide and congressional district totals

Democrats allow those wishing to participate to register to vote or declare Democratic party affiliation on-site. Those wishing to participate may be as young as 17 years old, but must turn 18 by general election day, November 8, 2016.

Democratic voters must go to the caucus location in the State Senate district in which they live. Sign in begins at 1 p.m. and voters must be in line at 3 p.m. in order to participate. Party leaders expect actual caucusing to being around 3:30 p.m.

In the Democratic caucus, participants publicly stand for their candidate of choice, dividing into Presidential preference groups. Candidates must have a group with at least 15 percent of people attending to be considered viable. Attendees may join another viable group or acquire more attendees for their candidate of choice to become viable.

33 of the state's 37 delegates to the Democratic National Convention are awarded based on the size of the preference groups. Among those, 11 are based on statewide proportion, 22 by congressional district. The remaining four are "superdelegates," who are officially unpledged.