On Feb. 3, Iowa will fulfill its role in the nomination process as caucus-goers make their candidate preferences known and have their say on policy matters.

On the Democratic side, attendees will not only select their presidential preferences, but do so with some new rules in place.

Delegates are decided based on the participation number in a given precinct. As usual, the candidates will break up into preference groups. A preference group has to hit a certain threshold to be viable and if a candidate is not viable, they have the option of switching candidates for the next alignment.

Delegates can also be handed out to the “no preference group.” If that group is deemed viable. The viability is of a given group is given extra importance under new Democratic laws.

“Once you have aligned yourself to a preference group or a candidate and it is a viable group… then that’s where you will stay.” Tony Amsler said, who assisted with the organization of the caucus. “Because it is assumed that when you are coming to the caucus that that is going to be the candidate that you prefer to support.”

On the Republican side, where the contested race is whether it will be Ashley Hinson or Thomas Hansen to oppose Rep. Abby Finkenauer, Gerald Retzlaff said the process hasn’t changed, and there will still be a vote conducted by secret ballot and a straw poll taken.

In addition to selecting their preferred candidates for upcoming races, caucus-goers for both parties will get the opportunity to propose resolutions for the party platforms to be sent to the county convention and select who will represent the county at those conventions.

Republicans will also select members for their central committee.

The Republicans will hold their county convention March 14, and Democrats will hold theirs March 21.

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