Missouri presidential caucus 2024: What to know to cast your vote

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For decades, Missouri voters have gone to the polls to privately vote in a presidential preference primary, but not anymore.

If you were a Missouri voter in early 2020, right before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, you might remember heading to the polls to vote for your favorite candidate in the presidential primary.

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But back in 2022, Missouri lawmakers voted to do away with that process. Now, voters of each party have to participate in a caucus to choose how delegates are awarded to presidential candidates.

Here’s what Missouri voters need to know in 2024.

What’s a caucus?

Instead of heading to your local polling place, under Missouri’s caucus system, political parties — not the state — will organize the system for choosing delegates.

In a caucus, members of each political party meet and divide into groups according to which candidate they want to win. Then the number of voters in each group decides how many delegates each candidate wins.

“Participating in the caucus allows one individual to make a much bigger mark in the selection process than just their vote because, at that caucus, they actually turn these people from a different candidate to their candidate,” Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft previously said.

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Delegates go on to represent their state at national party conventions to help the party select a presidential candidate.

Ashcroft said one potential positive from this approach is every political party gets to decide how delegates are awarded. He also noted with the state no longer running the primary, it will save Missouri about $10 million.

The Missouri Republican Party is holding a more traditional caucus at the beginning of March. Meanwhile, the Missouri Democratic Party is still calling their election process a presidential primary, offering both mail-in and in-person voting.

Republican caucus

The Missouri Republican Party plans to caucus in person in counties across the state on March 2.

You must be registered to vote in Missouri by Feb. 19 to participate. You can register online in Missouri here.

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According to the Missouri Republican Caucus, all counties will be caucusing at 10 a.m. March 2 at various locations.

Here are the caucus sites in the Kansas City region:

  • Caldwell County – Stagecoach Park Community Center, 1010 Main St, Polo

  • Callaway County – Callaway Electric Cooperative, 1313 Cooperative Dr, Fulton

  • Carroll County – Carroll County Courthouse, 8 S Main St., Carrollton

  • Cass County – Harrisonville Community Center, 2400 Jefferson Parkway, Harrisonville

  • Clay County – Oak Park High School, 825 NE 79th Terrace, Kansas City

  • Daviess County – Gallatin High School, 602 S Olive, Gallatin

  • DeKalb County – DeKalb County Courthouse, 109 W Main St, Maysville

  • Grundy County – Family Activity Center, 1st Assembly of God Church. 1107 Avalon Trenton

  • Henry County – Clinton Rotary Building, 200 W. Franklin Street, Clinton, MO 64735

  • Jackson County – East Trails Middle School Gymnasium, 1001 SE Bailey Rd., Lee’s Summit

  • Johnson County – Johnson County Fairground, 386 NW 145 Rd, Warrensburg

  • Lafayette County – Community Christian Center, 710 W MO-224, Wellington

  • Livingston County – Chillicothe Middle School, 1529 Calhoun St., Chillicothe

  • Pettis County – Missouri Electric Cooperative Building, Missouri State Fairgrounds, Sedalia

  • Platte County – Walden Middle School Gym, 4701 NW 56th St, Kansas City

  • Ray County – Ray County Community Library, 215 E. Lexington St., Richmond

The full list of caucus locations can be found on the GOP’s website.

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You must be a registered voter in the county you wish to caucus in. You will need to show a valid, unexpired government-issued photo ID at the door before entering the caucus.

Democratic primary

Meanwhile, the Missouri Democratic Party is primarily using mail-in ballots, meaning Democratic voters must be affiliated with the party in order to vote.

You must register to vote in Missouri by Feb. 21 to participate. You can register online in Missouri here.

Voters must request a mail-in ballot online but make sure to do so by March 12, and they must be received by the party by 10 a.m. March 23. Voters affiliated with the Republican Party will not be allowed to receive a ballot.

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The Democratic Party will also host an in-person presidential preference primary on March 23 in every county.

Votes can be cast in person at a polling place in the voter’s county of residence from 8 a.m. to noon. There will be additional polling places in St. Louis and Kansas City.

The Missouri Democratic Party has not released its list of polling places at this time. FOX4 will update this story when more information is available.

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