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Missouri Republicans are finalizing voting locations, rules for upcoming caucus

Missouri Residents walking in their designated voting locations ahead of Republican caucus
Elly Laliberte
The Republican presidential caucus is less than a week away but organizers have been preparing for it for months.

Missouri's Republican presidential caucus is less than a week away, but organizers have been preparing for it for months.

The Republican presidential primary is moving solely to a caucus for the first time in over a decade. That means voters must show up in-person to a dedicated location in each county at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Anthony Lupo, chair of the Boone County Republican Central Committee, said volunteers are an important part of making caucuses run.

“They’re going to help me count voters so that we can make sure we have the right numbers and that all the numbers add up,” Lupo said. “We’ll need people to just kind of help marshal people to the places where they have to be.”

Volunteers will also act as a resource and answer questions for anyone who is confused on the caucusing process.

Penny Quigg, chair of the Cole County Republican Central Committee, said some volunteers went to a state training back in September, and she has been passing on the information to others since then.

“I think anything that people are unfamiliar with can be confusing,” Quigg said. “It’s a learning process.”

Volunteers throughout the state largely come from the county’s Republican Central Committee. These central committees are essentially the Republican party at the county level. Caucuses will have a mix of committee members as volunteers and others who just want to help out.

“You can’t do political stuff without volunteers,” Quigg said.

Cole County will have 22 county committee members and roughly 40 volunteers total, according to Quigg. Boone County will be smaller with eight committee members and a handful of others, totaling 15 to 20 volunteers.

Lupo said the reason for the difference in numbers between counties is due to how many active Republicans are in each county and expected turnout.He also said that having volunteers outside the committee is helpful.

“It gets more people involved, you know,” Lupo said. “The Republican Central Committee doesn’t have to do all the work.”

Tim Grenke, a member of the Boone County Republican Central Committee, has been a poll worker in the past but will be volunteering at the caucus this year.

“When they said the caucus was happening, I was like, 'Well, what the heck is a caucus?'” he said. “I’m here to find out what a caucus is all about and learn how the state of Missouri is doing it this year.”

Boone County volunteers went to a training last Wednesday to discuss how the day will go and get a walk-through of the facility. For first-time volunteer Tanya Heath, it is a unique way to get involved.

“We all want to make the country better and the only way to make the country better is to actually participate,” Heath said.

KOMU 8 is a full-powered NBC affiliate operating as an independent commercial property. As such, KOMU 8 is the only major network affiliate in the United States that acts as a university-owned commercial television station utilizing its newsroom as a working lab for students.
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