Here is a detailed overview of what will happen at 1,774 precincts in the state of Iowa on caucus night, January 3, 2012.
All caucus participants arrive at their precincts where they will sign in at the door upon arrival. Caucuses will begin at 7:00PM CT.
The caucus meetings begin with the pledge of allegiance. A caucus chair and secretary will be elected by the body to run the meeting and take notes.
After the chair and secretary are elected, candidate representatives from each campaign are given time to speak on behalf of their candidate.
Once the speakers have finished, sheets of paper are be passed out to every registered Iowa Republican from the precinct. Voters then write down their candidate preference.
All votes are then collected.
Every vote is counted. The caucus chair and secretary will count the votes in front of the caucus and a representative from each campaign is allowed to observe the counting of the votes. The results are recorded on an official form provided by the Republican Party of Iowa and are announced to the caucus.
A caucus reporter is chosen to report the results to the Republican Party of Iowa, accompanied by campaign representatives to verify the results reported to Iowa GOP officials.
RPI officials do not count results; they aggregate them from around the state and report them to the media. To ensure consistency in reporting, campaign representatives have the opportunity to be present with RPI officials as votes are reported to the public.
We will be reporting the votes for Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Buddy Roemer, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, "No Preference," and "Other."
"No Preference" votes include those who vote "present," "no preference, "uncommitted," or "none of the above."
Within fourteen days of the caucus, certified results will be released for a complete breakdown of all caucus votes that were cast by precinct.
After the Presidential preference poll is completed the caucus will elect precinct committee representatives; delegates, alternates, and junior delegates to the county convention; and discuss and submit platform resolutions for consideration at the county convention.