Back In 2022, the Missouri General Assembly voted to get rid of the presidential preference primary and to use the caucus system instead. In decades past, Missourians voted in the primary and then the caucus, but to some, it didn’t make sense to have both. The removal of the primary also saves the state $10 million in the associated costs.
The caucus system is where political parties run meetings at the district level to divide themselves into groups, depending on the candidate they support. Then each candidate’s group gives speeches. The goal of each group is to try to get more people to join their group. The number of delegates is then awarded to each candidate based on the received caucus votes.
The caucus system is thought to allow the voice of one individual to have a greater impact because that individual may convince others to join the group behind the candidate. During this time, people may be interested in a different candidate than what they had originally chosen, versus a primary where the decisions are already made.
At the beginning of March, the Missouri Republican Party will caucus in person across the state. In the Republican caucus, voters will be expected to sign a paper that says they are a devout Republican and will support the Republican nominee.
The Missouri Republican Caucus will take place behind locked doors at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 2nd. The doors will open at 8:00 a.m. to allow voters in. Once the doors are locked, no one else will be allowed to enter. Each voter needs to be registered in the county they are voting in and will need to show a valid, up-to-date, government-issued photo ID before entering the caucus area.
Jasper County residents should go to Joplin Family Worship Center located at 5290 E. 7th Street in Joplin. In Newton County, residents will go to the Civic Municipal Auditorium at 109 West main Street in Neosho. McDonald County residents should go to the McDonald County High School Performing Arts Center at 100 Mustang Drive in Anderson. In Barry County, the caucus will be held at Cassville High School at 1825 State Highway Y in Cassville.
The Democratic Party will be using mail-in ballots instead, on March 23rd in each county, to hold their presidential preference primary. Mail-in ballots must be requested by March 12. Mail-in distribution will begin on February 12th. Democrat voters also have the option to cast their vote in person at a polling place from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 pm. in the county in which they reside. And additional polling places will be open in St. Louis and Kansas City. In order to vote in the Democratic Party primary, voters must be affiliated as a Democrat.
To find a complete list of caucus addresses, go to