Johnson County Results and Voter Registration Statistics

The Iowa caucuses are not conducted by our office, since they are not an election. The caucuses are a meeting conducted by the two full status political parties (Democratic and Republican), which set the rules and procedures. But we get most of the questions, so we'll answer them. (Some of the answers are "talk to the parties.")

When are the caucuses?

The Republican and Democratic Parties are each responsible for setting their own caucus date. Even though it's not required by law, historically Iowa Democrats and Republicans have worked together to keep the caucuses on the same night and before any other caucus or primary in the nation.

Since 2008, the Republican and Democratic national committees have both agreed on four designated early primary and caucus states, in this order: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Caroline. In 2020, these four states are allowed to have caucuses or primaries in February, and no other states are allowed to have contest until March.

The most detailed resource for the national primary and caucus calendar is Professor Josh Putnam's Frontloading HQ site.

Where is my caucus?

It is possible that the Republican and Democratic caucuses for your precinct will be different locations, and it is likely that your caucus site will be different than your polling place. Since a caucus is a meeting and everyone will be there at the same time, they often need larger spaces than our polling places.

Is there early or absentee voting?

There is no early voting in the caucuses. You must be physically present at your designated caucus site on caucus night to participate. For nearly everyone, this will mean the caucus for the precinct where you live.

The Democrats have a limited program of "satellite caucuses." This is NOT like the satellite voting our office has in elections. A satellite caucus is a mini-caucus held at about the same time and in a different location than the main precinct caucus.

There will be six satellite caucus sites within Johnson County. With one exception, these are all at the same 7 PM time as the regular precinct caucus. Two satellite caucuses are open to the general public:

  • Phillips Hall, University of Iowa
  • Caring Hands and More, 1552 Mall Drive

The other four locations are limited to employees or residents:

  • Walden Place
  • University of Iowa Hospital & Clinics - two sessions, 5:30 PM and 7:45 PM, pre-registration required
  • Oaknoll
  • Iowa City Fire Station 2

Iowans who will be traveling may be able to attend satellite caucuses elsewhere in the state, in other states, and even in other countries. For more information contact the Iowa Democratic Party. Pre-registration by January 17 is required for out of state locations and for sites that start before 6 PM Iowa time.

Worldwide list of Democratic satellite caucus sites (Iowa Democratic Party site)

Do I need ID?

Since it's not an election, the parties set their own rules. Democrats will not ask for ID. Republicans will ask for ID, and will require proof of address for attendees making a change to their registration (new registration, move, or change of party).

People filling out a new voter registration form at either party's caucus will need to provide an ID number. If you have an Iowa driver's license or non-driver ID, you need to put down that number. If you do not have an Iowa ID number, list the last four digits of your Social Security number.

What's the registration deadline? Do I have to register with a party?

You need to be registered with the party whose caucus you are attending. You can register or update your registration and party as the caucuses. However, your check-in will be faster if you are registered to vote, with your party, ahead of time.

Our office will accept registrations at any time, but if you register or change your registration after the parties print their lists, the party volunteers at the caucus site won't know that. They've been instructed to have you re-register again.

So if the caucuses aren't an election,what are they and what do they do?

The caucuses are the precinct-level organizational meeting of the political parties and the first step of what Iowa calls the "caucus to convention" process. Once part of that process is the election of delegates to the party's county convention.

The county conventions elect delegates to congressional district and state conventions. The district and state conventions choose the national convention delegates who will actually nominate the presidential candidate.

Thus, the Iowa precinct caucuses are the first official step in choosing the national candidates.

Do other parties have caucuses?

Under Iowa law, only full-status political parties have official caucuses. Iowa has a second level of party status called "political organization." The Greens and Libertarians have organization status, but state law does not address the issue of caucuses for organization status parties. They are of course free to have a meeting and call it whatever they wish.

The Johnson County Libertarians will meet on Saturday, February 8 at 1 PM at the Coralville Public Library, 1401 5th St. More Information

How long is this going to take?

That depends on your party. If you're a Democrat you should probably set aside your whole evening. Exactly how long it takes will depend on your precinct and on how much of the meeting you want to participate in.

Plan to arrive early if possible. In an election, voters come and go all day, but at the caucus everyone arrives at about the same time, so there will be lines at the sign in table. You will need to be in line by 7 PM in order to participate.

Democrats are also offering a pre-registration option. You will still need to attend on caucus night but your time in line may be shorter. The pre-registration deadline is January 17.

The Democratic Party expects extremely high attendance. There may be as many as 1000 people at some locations. Some sites will be very crowded and parking at most sites is very limited. We strongly encourage carpooling, walking, or using public transit if possible.

Can I get a ride?

The best bet for getting a ride is to contact the presidential campaign of your choice, well in advance of caucus night.

I'm a high school senior. Can I participate?

Maybe. Anyone who will be 18 on or before presidential election day (born on or before November 3, 2002) can participate in the caucuses.

Can I bring the kids? What about my friends who's visiting from out of state?

Children are welcome but the event will challenge the patience of younger kids (and some adults, too). If you need child care accommodations you should contact the party well in advance.

If your children are older, both parties have youth participation programs for teens who will not be 18 by November 3, 2020; contact the parties for details.

Guests may attend the caucuses to observe but may not participate. They may be asked to stay in a separate area from participants.

My friend want to come to the caucus with me, but they live in a different precinct.

If they want to vote they will have to attend the caucus for the precinct where they live.

Do I get a secret ballot? What's this thing about standing in a corner?

The two parties have different rules.

Democratic Caucus

The Democrats elect county convention delegates by presidential preference group, rather than by the whole caucus. At the time delegates are elected, the caucus splits up into preference groups - supporters of each candidate gather in different parts of the room.

Participants are allowed to regroup if their candidate has too few supporters to choose a delegate.

A temporary chair calls the caucus to order and permanent chair (usually bu not always the same person) is elected. Depends on the mood of the room, people may discuss the candidates.

The chair directs the group to break into preference groups, and usually assigns each group to an area of the room. This is your "vote."

You will hear the words "viable" and "viability" a lot. "Viable" means that a candidate has support from 15% of the caucus attendees and thus is eligible to choose county convention delegates.

The chair and volunteers will distribute "preference cards" to each attendee. These cards do not list candidates; you need to write in the name of your candidate and sign the card. (This is a change from past Democratic caucuses.)

In a change from past caucuses, once you are in a viable group you are not allowed to change preference. in another change, if you are in a viable group and do not want to participate in other caucus business, you may now leave.

Caucus attendees who are not in viable groups now have the option to realign (switch their support to another candidate). People in non-viable groups can persuade people in other non-viable groups to join them, leave the group and join a viable group, or can choose not to realign. People who realign will write the name of their second choice candidate on the back of their preference card.

Results are then reported to state party headquarters. In a change from past years, Democrats will report the delegate count, the vote count at the beginning of the night, and the vote count after realignment. In past caucuses, only the delegate count was reported.

At this point the delegate allocation to candidates is final and persons who do not want to participate in other business may leave.

Attendees in the remaining viable preference groups each elect their own delegates to the county convention, as allocated to each group. (Theses are delegates to the county convention in Tiffin, NOT the national convention in Milwaukee). People who choose not to realign from nonviable groups cannot participate in the delegate election, but may stay and participate in other caucus business.

When the delegate election is completed, the presidential preference groups come back together.

All persons still in attendance then proceed to elect party officers and discuss the platform.

Republican Caucus

Republicans conduct a straw poll for President by secret ballot. The whole caucus then elects delegates and alternates to the county convention.

A temporary chair calls the caucus to order and a permanent chair (usually but not always the same person) is elected. Depending on the mood of the room, people may discuss the candidates.

Here's where things start to get different.

Caucus attendees cast secret ballots in a straw poll. The votes are counted and reported to party headquarters.

At this point the straw poll results is final and person who do not want to participate in other business may leave.

All persons still in attendance elect county convention delegates. The caucus then proceeds to elect party officers and discuss the platform.

You keep telling me to contact the parties. How do I do that?

Johnson County Democrats
Phone 319-337-8683
Chair: Ed Cranston
Caucus Organizer: John Deeth
Iowa Democratic Party

Johnson County Republicans
Phone 319-339-8381
Chair: Cyndi Michel
Caucus Organizer: Bill Keettel
Republican Party of Iowa

The county parties are volunteer organizations: If you call during the day you'll probably need to leave a message. one of the party officers will get back to you as soon as they can.

Who are the candidates? Do they have headquarters?

There is no official list of candidates - caucus attendees may support anyone.

We are working with the parties and campaigns to create a list of local offices and contacts, and are adding campaigns as they provide information. Not all campaigns will have local offices. If you know of a campaign office or contact that is not listed, please let us know so we can add it.

Michael Bennet

209 Scott Ct
Iowa City, 52245

Joe Biden

702 S Gilbert St
Iowa City, 52240

Cory Booker

no Johnson County office

Pete Buttigeig

23 S Gilbert St
Iowa City, 52240

Amy Klobuchar

412 Highland Ave Suite E
Iowa City, 52240

Bernie Sanders

1745 Boyrum St
Iowa City 52240

Tom Steyer

412 Highland Ave Suite D

Elizabeth Warren

332 E 2nd St
Iowa City, 52240

Andrew Yang

412 Highland Ave, Suite A

Past Johnson County Caucus Results

Because the caucuses aren't elections, we're not in charge of results. The results below were provided by the parties or reported to the press.

Both parties have changed to their results process this year.

In past years, Democrats have reported only delegate counts and no vote totals. This year they will report both vote totals and delegate counts.

Republicans will have a straw vote for president this year. In past years with a Republican president seeking re-election (1984, 1992, 2004), the Republican have not had the straw polls.