The 35 legislative district caucuses are the first of a two-tiered caucus system to select 10 delegates and three alternates to the Democratic
National Convention in late August at Denver, CO, Jack Billion, chair of the South Dakota Democratic Party, said. The 35 caucuses on March 8 will select delegates to the statewide caucus in Pierre on March 22, where slates of 10 potential national convention delegates and three alternates are chosen. Those names will appear below the names of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, and Sen. Barack Obama, D-IL, on the June 3 state primary ballot.
"We are working hard to reach out to each and every legislative district to increase the involvement of the people in the Democratic Party," Billion said. "This is one of the most interesting and compelling elections in the last 50 years, and it has transformed the involvement of ordinary citizens in the political process."
Democrats attending the district meetings March 8 will elect slates pledged to either Clinton or Obama, or as uncommitted. The number of delegates assigned to each legislative district is based on an average of the votes from the district for the Democratic presidential candidates in 2000 and 2004.
The popular vote in the June 3 Democratic presidential primary in South Dakota will determine which of the slates of potential delegates and alternates will become delegates to the national convention. It is required that a candidate receives no less than 15 percent of the vote to qualify for candidates.
Six additional delegates and one more alternate will be chosen by the Democratic State Central Committee at the S.D. Democratic State Convention on June 28. Another class of delegates, who are chosen by their position in the state party, are the "super-delegates." the state party's chair, vice chair, Democratic National Committeeman, Democratic National Committeewoman, Sen. Tim Johnson, Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and former Sen. Tom Daschle. The total size of South Dakota's convention delegation is 23 delegates and four alternates.
Caucus meetings for District 17 will be held 10 a.m. Saturday at the Buffalo Run Winery, 1500 W. Main, Vermillion. Six delegates and two alternates to the state caucus will be allowed to campaign at this district caucus.