How will Kentucky's caucus work? - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

How will Kentucky's caucus work?

For the first time, the state is holding a caucus instead of a traditional primary for the Republican Presidential candidates. (FOX19 NOW Photo/Ben Kakto) For the first time, the state is holding a caucus instead of a traditional primary for the Republican Presidential candidates. (FOX19 NOW Photo/Ben Kakto)
BOONE COUNTY, KY (FOX19) -

Some Kentucky voters heading to the polls very soon will vote in a way much different than ever before.

For the first time, the state is holding a caucus instead of a traditional primary for the Republican Presidential candidates.

As with the race to the White House so far, you could say there are also more questions than answers in how Kentucky will pick their favorite.

Some Kentucky voters are heading to the polls very soon too - in a way much different than ever before.

"What's changed? What's different? Am I going to go to my normal polling location," said Boone County Clerk Kenny Brown.

Brown says a lot is different for his office as well, as he's handled plenty of phone calls from voters with plenty of the same questions.

Normally, his office handles all the elections in the county, but not this time.

"All that's changed. All that's going to be up to the state GOP. They set the rules," Brown said.

This is the first time the state Republican party is holding a presidential caucus. Traditionally, they have a primary in May.

"The nominee is really already selected by the time we get to the May primary," said Boone County Caucus chairwoman Phyllis Sparks.

According to the Republican Party of Kentucky, the caucus will take place on Saturday, March 5 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

For the most part, there is one polling location per county.

For instance, in Boone County, nearly 51,000 registered Republican voters can vote at the Florence Baptist Church at Mt. Zion.  For you polling location, click here.

Voters will sign in, get a ballot and cast their vote before placing it in a ballot box to be counted.  When those votes are tallied, a candidate needs 5 percent for a share of 46 delegates.

The Republican Party of Kentucky says, "Each candidate who receives at least five percent of the total votes cast at the caucus shall be awarded a pro-rata portion of the authorized delegate vote for the Kentucky Republican Party at the Republican National Convention."

Sparks says votes for candidates no longer running could be bartered for between campaigns.

"This is not a winner take all election," Sparks said.

Eleven Republican presidential candidates are on the Kentucky ballot right now, including drop-outs like Sen. Rand Paul who is also running to keep his Senate seat.

His name cannot be on the same ballot twice, as it would have if this vote happened in May.

"It was absolutely centered around Rand Paul and what we could do to help him in the state of Kentucky," Sparks said when asked if the caucus concept was created for Paul.

Only registered Republican voters before December 31, 2015 can vote in the caucus.  They'll only vote for a Republican Presidential candidate in the caucus and nothing more.

Democrat offices, other GOP races and other issues will be voted on during the May primary. "Kentucky votes too late to be relevant. But, by having this caucus in March and voting, makes us much more relevant," Sparks told FOX19 NOW.

For more information on the Kentucky caucus, visit: http://rpk.org/caucus/

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