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Minnesota's major political parties will hold their precinct caucuses on Tuesday, Feb. 27. At schools and community centers across the state, neighbors who identify as belonging to a party will gather to talk about issues, elect local party officers and select delegates to party conventions.

They're the first in a series of meetings, run by political parties, where parties can endorse and select candidates and set party platforms, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State.

Never been to one? Here's what you need to know.

Who can participate?

DFL: Participants should consider themselves a member of the party and be at least 16 years old, according to the Minnesota DFL Party's website. Immigrants who are not U.S. citizens and others who are not eligible to vote can also participate in DFL caucuses, after the party said limiting participation in precinct caucuses to eligible voters violated First Amendment rights.

GOP: Participants must be Republicans eligible to vote in the next general election and live in that precinct, state Republican Party Executive Director Anna Mathews said.

Legal Marijuana Now: Participants have to be Minnesota residents, 18 years old, and eligible to vote by Nov. 5, said the party's Dennis Schuller. Minors, noncitizens, incarcerated felons and out-of-state residents may only observe.

One big change from 2022? People who have been convicted of felonies and are no longer incarcerated can participate in all party caucuses. DFL caucuses have been open to people with felony convictions since 2022.

Last year's law restoring voting rights to people with felony convictions means they now fall into the "eligible to vote in the next general election" rubric for participating in a GOP caucus, Mathews said.

If I caucus, is my information public?

Information about who caucused for which party is not posted online, but the parties will have a record of who participated. And of course, caucusing happens in public, so you might run into your neighbors.

How do I find my caucus?

Each precinct has separate caucus locations for DFLers and Republicans. Find your location by typing in your address at

The Legal Marijuana Now Party is holding its caucus in Bloomington with a virtual option.

When do they start?

7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27. The DFL said registration begins by 6:30 p.m.

What happens?

It can vary by party, but generally, participants choose volunteers to organize political activities at the local level. Caucus-goers discuss issues and ideas for the party's platforms and choose delegates to the state party conventions, where candidates are endorsed, according to the Minnesota secretary of state's website.

Republicans will hold their state convention in St. Paul May 16-18.

The state DFL convention starts May 31 in Duluth.

Wait, don't we have a presidential primary coming up too?

Yes, Minnesota's presidential primary election will be held March 5, along with the other Super Tuesday states.

Minnesotans used to vote in presidential preference straw polls at the caucuses, but since 2020, the state holds its presidential primary on Super Tuesday.

Tuesday's precinct caucuses are about electing local party officers and delegates to the state conventions, and debating issues for the party platform.

What's next?

Democrats and Republicans hold their state party conventions in mid-to-late May, to debate the party platforms and endorse candidates.

The state primary election is Aug. 13, though early voting starts in June. Check the Star Tribune's list of political events to stay up-to-date.