On Saturday, Clark County’s Republicans will gather in two locations to hold their 2020 precinct caucuses.
Some clarification on that point, though — this year, unlike some elections in the past, the caucuses have nothing to do with selecting a presidential candidate. That will be done entirely through a primary process for both Republicans and Democrats in the state, with voters submitting ballots instead of gathering in school gymnasiums. (Though there’s only one Republican presidential candidate on the Washington ballot, regardless.)
Saturday’s caucuses will instead be used to pick the delegates that the local GOP will send to the Clark County Republican Party’s convention April 4 at Washougal High School, and eventually to the GOP state convention May 14-16 in Everett.
The process will culminate with the Republican National Convention, Aug. 24-27, in Charlotte, N.C. Washington will ultimately send 44 delegates to that convention, including three from Clark County.
At the precinct level, however, the process will be a little more intimate. Caucusgoers are invited to offer some feedback on their county platform. Michael Delavar, chair of the county’s caucus and convention, said that feedback was “the surest way to help shape a better GOP.”
“If you believe that the Republican Party needs to hear your voice in how it should change in the years to come, please join us,” Delavar said in a media release. “Come to the caucus and tell us what you believe should be in our party platform.”
Republicans living in Clark County who wish to participate in their caucuses should report to one of two locations at 10 a.m. Saturday: Prairie High School, 11311 N.E. 119th St., Vancouver, or Union High School, 6201 N.W. Friberg St., Camas.
The location that a Republican caucusgoer should visit depends on their precinct number — there are 314 precincts, each with about 1,500 residents. Those precinct boundaries change frequently in a process managed by the Clark County Auditor’s Office, said Kenny Smith, another party volunteer.
“The voter registration card in their pocket might not be current as boundaries change at least once a year,” Smith wrote in an email to The Columbian. “Each year people discover that the precinct number they had for years (decades in my case) have been changed due to redistricting.”
The surest way to figure out the precinct number, Smith said, is to use an online “precinct caucus locator” tool hosted on the state party website at wsrp.org/caucus/.
However, for people who live in 12 of the county’s 314 caucuses, the information in that tool will be incorrect. Precinct boundaries change so frequently that some of them have shifted since the online finder was created, and so the tool will show the correct precinct but not the correct caucus location.
Residents who should report to Union High School include those who reside in precincts 135, 171, 177, 195, 730, 735 and 740.
Residents who should report to Prairie High School include those who reside in precincts 554, 557, 558, 561 and 614.
As Washington is an open registration state, any voter can attend the precinct caucuses. However, caucusgoers on Saturday will be asked to sign a statement that they consider themselves Republicans and will not participate in any other party’s caucus or convention.