Kevin Drahos, external affairs manager for the event called “Hawk The Vote,” says they’ll start around 7 p.m. with a presentation on how the caucuses work by the caucus coordinator for the Johnson County Republican Party.
“She’s going to walk all of the students through the process, and then we’ll switch over to the Democratic mock caucus which will be led by the caucus coordinator for the Democratic Party of Johnson County,” Drahos says. “He is going to again walk every student through the process and every student is going to have the chance to vote on which candidate they would prefer.”
Drahos, a U-I international relations major from Cedar Rapids, says Hawk The Vote is designed to prepare students for the state’s February 3rd caucuses through education, practice and exposure. “Any student can participate in either caucus,” Drahos says. “There’s no restriction on if you have to participate in one or the other. We want to make sure students can participate in both if they want to, just so they have the process nailed down.”
Youth voter turnout, especially in the caucuses, is the lowest compared to any other age group. Around 70% of the U-I student body is registered to vote, which Drahos says is very good. He’s expecting a large turnout for the mock caucus event — and for the actual caucuses on Monday night.
“They do need to be registered voters but what is great about some of our laws here in Iowa is we have same-day voter registration,” Drahos says. “Anyone can change their voter registration on Monday the 3rd and if they’d like to caucus and they aren’t registered Republican or Democrat, they can switch to that party on the same night. There’s not an issue there. Anyone can show up and caucus.”
Hawk The Vote will be held in the Main Lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union. Drahos says he is unaware of any similar mock caucus events at Iowa State University or UNI.