For McCreary County Republicans, Saturday will be the only chance to vote for their choice for their party’s nominee for the 2016 Presidential election.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. all registered Republicans are invited to the McCreary County Middle School to cast their vote for one of five candidates still in the running to earn the Republican Party’s nomination this fall.
McCreary Caucus attendees will be able to visit tables where information from all candidates will be available, with representatives from each campaign on hand as well, to answer questions.
When ready to cast their ballot, voters will be required to provide photo ID before being given a paper ballot for a secret vote.
At the end of the day, all votes from the local Caucus will be hand collated and the results forwarded to the Kentucky Republican Party headquarters for a final tally.
At the end of the voting each candidate who receives at least five percent of the total vote will be given a pro rata portion of the state’s delegate votes for the Kentucky Republican Party in the Republican National Convention later this fall.
Last year the Kentucky Republican Party announced plans to hold a first-ever caucus in the state with the stated intention of making Kentucky more prominent in national politics.
But another aim was to allow Senator Rand Paul to run for President without giving up his bid for re-election to his United States Senate seat. A Kentucky law prohibits candidates from appearing on a ballot for two different seats in the same election.
The 11 candidates who filed for the Kentucky Republican Caucus are: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum and Donald Trump.
All 11 candidates will appear on the ballot, but six have already dropped out of the race: Bush, Christie, Fiorina, Santorum, Paul and Huckabee. Signs will be posted at the polling location to inform voters of the candidates who have suspended their campaigns.
Senator Paul has pledged to pay the estimated $400,000 -$500,000 cost to run the Caucus, with $250,000 already given to the party. He has pledged an additional $200,000. Also, each of the 11 candidates paid a $15,000 filing fee to appear on the ballot.
The Caucus is organized and run by the Kentucky Republican Party, and will have no affiliation with County Clerk Eric Haynes’ Office.
The local Caucus will be held at McCreary County Middle School in Stearns from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Any voter who has registered as a Republican on or before December 31, 2015 will be eligible to participate.
Due to the caucus, Kentucky Republicans will not vote for a Presidential Candidate in the 2016 Primary Election on May 17, but will still be able to vote for other races, such as state Senator and State Representative.