Caucus vs. Primary
What is the difference between a caucus and a primary? Basically, the difference comes down to how people vote.
A Primary usually lasts 12 hours, and individuals line up and vote one at a time. Voting can be done by many different devices – cards, ballots, machines, etc. It is done by precinct. The votes are counted at the close of the polls. Absentee voting is usually allowed.
Caucuses are like town meetings that last for a few hours. Everyone gathers at one time and in one location according to precinct. The different sides present the arguments for their candidates, and at the end everyone votes at one time. The votes are counted after the last person votes. Absentee voting is not possible.
Texas’ March 4th presidential “primary” was actually a mix of both. Hawaii’s democratic presidential “primary” on February 19 was actually a caucus. If you would like instructions on how to participate see the entry “Hawaii Democratic Primary Caucus February 19“.