Five things to know before you caucus

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DENVER -- It's called Super Tuesday,  the day 12 states hold their primary elections or caucuses. Colorado is one of those states scheduled to hold a Democratic and Republican caucus on March 1.

But with more than 100,000 residents moving to the state in the past year, some are wondering what is a caucus and how do I participate? FOX 31 Denver explains the rules.

Who can participate?

The caucuses are only open to registered Republicans and Democrats. You must have registered with your political party by early January. The caucus is set to begin at 7 p.m. and you are advised to arrive a little early.

Where do I go?

There will be thousands of caucus locations between the Republican and Democratic parties in metro Denver on Super Tuesday. To find out where you should go you are advised to call your political party or visit their website.

What happens at the caucus?

Democrats: You will most likely gather in a large room to listen to instructions and learn about the candidates. You'll then be divided into your precincts and go into smaller rooms where you will conduct your presidential preference poll. Then, you will elect your friends and neighbors to become delegates to the county convention.

On average each precinct will elect two to six delegates. Anyone can be a delegate if elected. Democrats do have a 15 percent percent viability threshold. So if 15 percent of your room isn’t supporting your candidate, that candidate will not receive any delegates going forward from that area.

Republicans: Depending on your location you will also gather in a large room before being divided into precincts. When you go to your smaller area, unlike the Democrats, you will not participate in a presidential preference poll. The decision to keep Colorado’s Republican delegates unbound occurred last summer. You will elect delegates to the county conventions.

How long will it last?

Caucuses are expected to last less than two hours. Each caucus location will report results to each political party's centralized office where the information will be distributed online.

Will Colorado have a winner on Super Tuesday?

Yes and no.

Democrats will have a winner on Super Tuesday, but the 79 delegates will not officially be awarded to any candidate until after the county and state conventions.

Republicans will not have a winner because they aren’t conducting a presidential preference poll. The 37 delegates to the national convention in Cleveland will make their decision at a later date.

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