A caucus system is a method of selecting a political party's nominee for a general election in which voters gather in person to discuss and vote on candidates. Unlike a primary election, which typically involves voters casting secret ballots, a caucus is a public meeting in which voters openly show their support for a particular candidate. The process of a caucus can vary depending on the state or municipality, but typically involves a series of votes in which the least popular candidates are eliminated until one candidate has a majority of the votes.
Caucuses are typically organized by the political parties themselves, rather than by state or local governments. They are commonly used in the United States by the Democratic and Republican parties, and examples of states that use caucus systems include Iowa, Nevada, and Colorado. Some political parties may also use caucuses in addition to primary elections, to elect delegates or other party officials.
The caucus system can have both advantages and disadvantages for voters. On one hand, caucuses allow for more direct voter participation and can foster a sense of community among party members. They also can be more cost-effective than primary elections. On the other hand, caucuses can be less accessible to certain groups of voters, such as those who are unable to attend a meeting in person due to work or other obligations. Additionally, the open nature of caucuses can make it more difficult for voters to maintain anonymity and can deter some from participating.