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Mo. 2024 presidential preference primaries: GOP to hold caucuses, Dems to vote by ballot


Following a change signed into law in 2022 by Gov. Mike Parson to eliminate the state-run presidential preference primary election in favor of a party-run system to choose presidential nominees in Missouri, the dominant two political parties have announced they are implementing different approaches to determining their respective presidential nominees.

No longer are voters able to choose a ballot, regardless of party, to weigh in on their nominees of choice; instead, voters must choose a ballot in alignment with their party of official registration. The three recognized parties in Missouri, according to the office of Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, are the Republican, Democratic and Libertarian parties. Voters who do not want to choose a party ballot may request a ballot containing issues, provided the jurisdiction in which they are voting has issues on which to vote, the office adds.

Howell County Republicans will hold a caucus on March 2 to engage local voters in the process of determining who will receive the Missouri nomination for Republican presidential candidate for the 2024 election.

The caucus, officials explained, will replace the familiar presidential primary election that has been held in August of presidential election years, and is the first step in determining which delegates and alternates the Missouri Republican Party will send to the Republican National Convention.

“The caucus is how you, as a voter, will make your voice heard in the nomination process for President of the United States,” said Howell County Republican officials. “No presidential candidate will be on the ballot at the Aug. 6 primary in Missouri.”

The caucus will take begin at 10 a.m. in the National Guard Armory, 1315 Webster Ave. in West Plains, with a review of the Republican platform. Registration will begin at 8 a.m., and those wishing to participate in the process must be in line by 10 a.m.

Eligibility requirements for participants include being a registered voter in Howell County, and providing a valid, government-issued photo ID, as outlined by the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office. Local organizers also add that a prospective participant should be “true and faithful Republican.”

For more information about the 2024 caucus rules and to preregister, visit missouri.gop online.

The Missouri Democratic Party has chosen to take a different approach and is distributing ballots beginning Saturday. Democratic voters may request a ballot through March 12.

All voters who are not registered as a Republican may vote in the presidential preference primary, scheduled for March 23, as long as they are registered to vote by Feb. 21.

Missouri Democrats explain their primary will be a hybrid election, with Democrats able to cast votes by mail or in person from 8 a.m. to noon March 23 at their designated voting sites. Votes will be counted in St. Louis by March 25, and an announcement should be expected by March 28, naming the chosen candidate.

For more information about the Missouri Democratic Party primary and its process, visit missouridemocrats.org.

Voters wishing to update their party affiliation should go online, using a touch screen device, to s1.sos.mo.gov/elections/voterregistration/home/partyaffiliationlanding. A touch screen device is required to complete the process.

To check the status of one’s voter registration, go online using any internet-capable device to voteroutreach.sos.mo.gov/portal.