Rules of the Idaho Republican Party for the Presidential Nominating Caucus
ARTICLE V: IDAHO REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CAUCUS
Section 1: Unless the Idaho legislature acts before October 1, 2023, or the relevant RNC deadline, to restore the March Presidential Primary election and instruct the Idaho Secretary of State, according to Idaho Statutes, to conduct a Presidential Primary election on the first or second Tuesday of March in a Presidential Election year, the Idaho Republican Presidential Caucus shall be held on the first Saturday in March of a Presidential election year. The Idaho Republican Presidential Caucus is not winner-take-all, unless a candidate receives more than 50% of the votes cast. If the Idaho Legislature chooses before October 1, 2023, or the relevant RNC deadline, to reinstate the March Presidential Primary, then the Idaho Republican Party rules governing that process revert to the rules as revised in January of 2023.
Section 2: For a candidate to be placed on the official ballot for the Idaho Republican Presidential Caucus, he or she shall submit a $50,000.00 filing fee and declaration of candidacy to the Idaho Republican Party no later than 90 days prior to the caucus date. Candidates thus qualifying to be on the Idaho Republican Presidential Caucus ballot shall be granted space for campaigning at each caucus location. Each candidate shall be given 5 minutes to address the voters at each caucus location. This may be in person, by a designated representative, or by prerecorded video. If the candidate holds at least one public campaign event in Idaho prior to the caucus that the candidate attends in-person between October 1 and caucus date of the Presidential election year, the Idaho Republican Party will refund one-half of the filing fee. All other filing fees are non-refundable regardless of the candidate's actual participation in the Idaho Republican Presidential Caucus or whether the candidate withdraws from contention prior to the Idaho Republican Presidential Caucus.
Section 3: At least half of the total amount of filing fees collected from Section 2 above will be distributed among the forty-four county central committees to offset the costs of conducting the county caucuses. The amount of filing fees retained by the Idaho GOP Headquarters will be used to offset caucus costs and other costs at the state party level. The filing fees collected from Section 2 above will be distributed as follows:
One-half of the total amount of filing fees collected from Section 2 above will be distributed to the forty-four county central committees to offset the costs of conducting the county caucuses. Distribution will be proportional based on the number of Republican voters in each county as shown on the voter registration roll of the Idaho Secretary of State as of January 1 of the Presidential Election year. These amounts shall be retained by the county central committees even if their cost of administering the caucus in their county is less than that amount.
One- half of the total amount of filing fees collected, after Idaho GOP Headquarters’ expenses from Section 2 above will be retained by the Idaho GOP Headquarters. Any county central committee that incurs costs in excess of the amount distributed as described above may present a documented accounting of its total costs to the Idaho GOP Headquarters no later than 21 days following the Caucus. If the amount of additional expenses presented by counties is less than the remaining amount of filing fees, the State Chairman shall direct that each county be reimbursed from those fees, with the remainder retained by the Idaho Republican Party. If expenses exceed the remaining filing fees, the State Chairman shall determine the number of registered Republican voters in counties submitting claims for excess expenses and shall calculate the percentage of those voters registered in each county submitting a claim. The State Chairman shall be authorized to reimburse each schedule of county expenses up to the proportional amount calculated. This process shall be repeated until all filing fees are distributed. Any funds left over after all county expenses are paid will remain with the Idaho Republican Party.
Section 4: The Idaho GOP Chairman shall send official notice of the Idaho Republican Presidential Caucus and a Caucus Plan to all county and legislative district chairmen no later than one week after the Caucus Plan is approved by the RNC. The Caucus Plan shall contain tasks with deadlines for the caucus. The Idaho GOP shall notify every eligible caucus participant via post card of the time and place of their precinct’s caucus. Notice shall be mailed no later than 14 days before the caucus. A general notice shall also be posted on the IDGOP website and sent as a press release or legal notice to media outlets statewide within 10 days of the caucus.
Section 5: The Caucus will be conducted simultaneously state wide at multiple locations. Each precinct will have an assigned caucus location. Some caucus locations may be shared by multiple precincts. Each caucus location will require a Caucus Captain. Each Legislative District or County will require a Caucus Coordinator who will ensure that each precinct has an assigned caucus location.
The county chairman has the authority to enforce these rules and resolve issues and the overall responsibility of conducting a successful caucus.
Section 6: Caucus Captain. The Precinct Committeeman will be the default Caucus Captain of that precinct. If the precinct is empty or the PC is unable or unwilling to serve, then a qualified elector from that precinct, who is affiliated with the Republican Party, may be nominated by any PC on the county’s central committee and ratified by majority vote of the central committee. The county chairman may specify the method of voting for the Caucus Captain except if any member of the committee requests a secret ballot then a secret paper ballot will be used.
Caucus Captain Duties and Responsibilities shall include:
1. Procuring a suitable caucus facility that will accommodate no fewer than 10% of the affiliated Republicans in the precincts served by that location.
2. Registering as Caucus Captain with the state party no later than January 1 of the year of the caucus..
3. Registering the caucus facility with the state party no later than January 1 of the year of the caucus.
4. Soliciting at least 3 volunteers for each precinct served.
5. Solicit sponsors to help defer costs.
6. Receive caucus materials from the state party.
7. Register caucus results with party headquarters
8. Conduct the caucus per the provided instructions.
Section 7: Caucus Coordinator. If the county contains multiple legislative districts, the legislative district chairman will serve as the Caucus Coordinator for the precincts within the district.
If the legislative district contains multiple counties then the county chairman will serve as the Caucus Coordinator for the precincts within the county.
The Caucus Coordinator will work directly with the Caucus Captains to ensure every precinct has an assigned caucus location. Should two or more Caucus Captains share a caucus location, the Caucus Coordinator shall determine by vote or coin toss who will be the Caucus Captain and who will be the Vice-Captain. The Caucus Coordinator shall register themselves, the caucus locations, precincts served and Caucus Captains with the state party and shall report tabulated results to the state party. The Caucus Coordinator shall register the caucus locations with the state party no later than January 1 on the year of the caucus.
The State Executive Committee may appoint representatives to oversee any aspect of any county or legislative district's caucus process.
Section 8: All registered electors that have affiliated with the Republicans Party in the county on record as of January 1 of a Presidential election year, as well as any voters who turn 18 between January 1 and the date of the Presidential Caucus and who sign an affidavit declaring that they have registered to vote and affiliate with the Republican Party within that period and are therefore eligible to vote in Idaho elections shall be eligible to participate. The Idaho GOP Headquarters shall obtain this January 1st list from the Secretary of State, sort it by precinct, and have each precinct’s voter list printed as a Poll Book. The Idaho GOP Headquarters shall deliver to each caucus location a standard set of materials to conduct the caucus. These shall include instructions, ballots, an agenda, a script, checklists, task lists, hand stamps, typical site layouts and other information needed to conduct the caucus. The caucuses shall be generally uniform but with enough flexibility to accommodate the needs of the various precincts.
Section 9: In order to vote, all caucus voters must show a form of photo identification acceptable for Idaho elections under Section 34-1113, Idaho Code, and sign next to their name in the corresponding Poll Book. Voters who turned 18 between January 1 and the date of the Presidential Caucus shall sign an affidavit declaring that they have registered to vote and affiliated with the Republican Party within that period and enter their name and registered address in the Poll Book. The Caucus Captain shall be the sole judge of voter qualification. Only eligible voters and their minor children shall be admitted to the caucus. No other guests will be permitted.
Section 10: Caucus Captain will call the Caucus to order. Opening ceremonies, including an invocation, the Pledge of Allegiance and, optionally, the national anthem, shall be performed. After opening ceremonies, the procedures to be followed as distributed by the Idaho Republican Party will be reviewed by the Caucus Captain. The Caucus Captain shall then nominate three members of the caucus to the Tabulation Committee. The Caucus Captain shall call for a voice vote to approve the Tabulation Committee appointments. In the event the vote fails, three caucus members shall be recognized to each nominate one alternative name, each of which shall be seconded and a voice vote shall be taken on those names. Each candidate on the ballot or their campaign specified designee will be given five minutes to offer remarks or play a video to the assembly.
Section 11: Following all speeches by candidates or their representatives or video presentations, voters shall proceed to the voting area. They shall receive their ballot, move to a ballot marking area, and then deposit their marked ballot into a ballot box. Caucus votes are secret votes, and county central committee members must make all reasonable efforts to ensure each voter's ballot remains secret. Any eligible voter who arrived after the start of the caucus, or could not participate due to building occupancy limits, shall be allowed to cast their ballot after the caucus participants have vacated the location after casting their ballots. All balloting will cease at the scheduled time.
Section 12: After all ballots have been voted, ballots shall be counted at the caucus site by the Tabulation Committee. Each candidate or their designee may observe the tabulating process. The ballots will first be separated into stacks by candidate and then each stack shall be counted twice. If the counts do not match then the stack shall be counted again until an identical count is achieved in two consecutive counts. The Caucus Captain and each member of the Tabulation Committee shall certify the count as correct by filling out and signing two copies of the Tabulation Certificate provided by the Idaho Republican Party.
Section 13: After the vote count is certified by the Caucus Captain and all members of the Tabulation committee, the Caucus Captain shall register the final results with party headquarters using the method prescribed by the State Chairman. Then the ballots and one copy of the Tabulation Certificate shall be placed in an envelope or box, sealed and delivered by hand, via certified mail, or by private delivery service to the Idaho Republican Party state headquarters. The second copy of the Tabulation Certificate will be delivered or transmitted to the Caucus Coordinator who will register the results with party headquarters using the method prescribed by the State Chairman. The Caucus Coordinator will then deliver the second copy of the Tabulation Certificate by hand, via certified mail, or by private delivery service to the Idaho Republican Party state headquarters.
Section 14: Once all county results have been registered and totaled, the Idaho GOP Chairman will announce the vote count and declare the preliminary winner(s) of the Idaho Republican Presidential Caucus.
Section 15: Upon receiving all Tabulation Certificates and ballots, the Idaho GOP Chairman will appoint a committee of at least three members to verify the total of all votes cast for each candidate match within 0.5% or ½ of the margin of victory, whichever is smaller. After the verification of all voting totals, the Idaho GOP Chairman will formally declare the official Caucus winner(s) and announce the number of delegates awarded to the winner(s) according to subsection (a) below.
a) If a candidate wins more than 50% of the total votes cast in the Idaho Republican Presidential Caucus, that candidate is awarded all of the Idaho delegates to the Republican National Convention for nominating the GOP candidate for President. If no candidate wins more than 50% of the total votes cast in the Idaho Republican Presidential Caucus, then candidates are awarded delegates proportionately to the votes received by each candidate receiving at least 15% of the votes cast in the Caucus statewide (rounded to the nearest whole delegate, provided that any remainder delegate goes to the winning candidate). Any candidate that receives less than 15% of the total votes receives no delegates.
Section 16: If a county or legislative district fails or refuses to participate in a caucus or fails to register a caucus location by the deadline of January 1 of the year of the caucus, the state party chair shall be notified so the state may organize the county's caucus. In such an event, the state shall retain all caucus funds.
ARTICLE VI: APPORTIONMENT AND SELECTION OF DELEGATES TO THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION
Section 1: The Idaho GOP Chairman shall appoint a Nominations Committee with one representative from each region for the selection of delegates to the Republican National Convention in Presidential election years.
Section 2: Each Republican candidate for President of the United States in the Idaho Republican Caucus shall prepare a list of its proposed Republican National Convention delegates for Idaho. The list must be filed with the Idaho Republican Party no later than 30 days prior to the caucus date. Eighty percent (80%) of the Idaho delegates and alternates to the Republican National Convention shall be selected from the lists of proposed delegates in proportion to the delegates won in the Idaho Republican Presidential Nomination Caucus. The remaining twenty percent shall be selected as pledged delegates to the Republican National Convention and in the same proportion as the Idaho Caucus apportionment and shall be split evenly between the congressional districts. These delegates will be selected by the Nominations Committee of the Idaho State Republican Party. The Nominations Committee shall also produce a list of Guests to the convention. The Delegate, Alternate and Guest lists shall be confirmed at a special meeting of the Executive Committee, The Idaho GOP Chairman shall serve as Chairman of the Delegation unless the delegation selects a chairman from among its members by majority vote. The Delegation Chairman shall send the confirmed list of delegates, alternates, and guests, listed in order of precedence, to the National Party headquarters before the deadline specified in the national party rules.
In the event that an elected delegate becomes unavailable to attend the Republican National Convention, the Delegation Chairman shall elevate the appropriate Alternate to Delegate status and notify the national headquarters of the change. If circumstances allow, the Delegation Chairman will elevate a Guest to Alternate status and notify National headquarters.
Section 3: The delegates and alternates elected shall be obliged on the first ballot taken at the Republican National Convention to vote for the candidate who nominated them, provided any delegates selected as representing the "uncommitted" choice shall be free to cast their vote for any candidate whose name has been placed in nomination before the Republican National Convention.
Section 4: In the event of the death or withdrawal of a candidate or release of delegates by a candidate prior to the first ballot at the Republican National Convention, delegates committed to such a candidate shall, thereupon, become uncommitted delegates. A written notification to the Idaho Republican Party Chairman shall constitute notice of delegate release.
Section 5: In the event of the failure of a candidate to file a list of proposed delegates/alternates with the Idaho Republican Party, the Nominating Committee may select and specify any persons preferring or identified with said candidate to serve as delegates/alternates to the Republican National Convention in such numbers as the candidate is entitled. If a candidate who fails to file the required list also dies, withdraws, or releases delegates prior to the official commencement of the Nominating Committee , then the Nominating Committee may select uncommitted delegates/alternates in such numbers as the candidates would have been entitled.
Section 6: In the event that any candidate is entitled to the selection of a number of delegates/alternates greater than the number of those persons whose names were filed with the Idaho Republican Party by the candidate, or in the event a person on the list indicates an inability to serve as a delegate/alternate, the Nominating Committee shall select and specify persons to fill those delegates/alternates vacancies from a supplemental list filed by the candidate's designated representative with the Idaho Republican Party.
Section 7: Any individual or official who willfully violates Republican Party rules while conducting any stage of a caucus - to the extent that the results of the Caucus can be called into question - shall forfeit their office as penalty. Any aggrieved party may appeal a violation of the caucus rules through the judicial process of the Idaho Republican Party.
The judicial branch of the party may order that a county caucus be re-held, under the supervision of the State Party, if such can be done in a timely fashion, considering the time requirements specified herein.
Section 8: Declaring an emergency. Any proposed rule related specifically to the Idaho Republican Presidential Caucus shall be in effect upon its passage by the Rules Committee of the State Central Committee, subject to later modification or reversal at the next regular meeting of the State Central Committee. The Rules Committee may meet by conference call and may vote by phone or email on any matter specifically related to the Idaho Republican Presidential Caucus. This section shall expire after the 2024 Idaho Republican Presidential Caucus is completed.
The following amendments are conforming amendments required to bring the articles below into alignment with the proposed amendments above and shall be considered en bloc with the proposed amendments.
ARTICLE I: THE REPUBLICAN STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Section 18: Forty-five (45) days prior to the Presidential Preference Caucus in each presidential year, the State Chairman shall notify each Region Chairman, each Legislative District Chairman, and each County Chairman of the rules of Selection of Delegates to the Republican State Convention and the Republican National Convention.
ARTICLE IX: CENTRAL COMMITTEE ENDORSEMENT AND RULES GOVERNING THE ELIGIBILITY TO AFFILIATE WITH THE IDAHO REPUBLICAN PARTY
Section 4: Only persons who have affiliated as Republican prior to the Primary Election, including a presidential preference caucus, will be allowed to vote on an Idaho Republican Party ballot in that Primary Election or in that presidential caucus.