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How does the Iowa Caucus work?

Iowa holds a caucus, which is different from a primary. It's sort of a strange, complicated process. Here's how it works.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The 2020 presidential race is tightening up, and Democratic candidates are making one last push in Iowa’s first-in-nation contest.

On Monday, February 3, 2020, caucus-goers will meet in 1,700 local precincts across Iowa. These precincts include school gyms, church basements, public libraries, and even homes.

There are no ballots or voting machines. Instead, caucus-goers write their choice on a card and gather in groups that support the same candidates. Those groups are called “alignments.”

If the people in your alignment don't equal at least 15 percent of all caucus-goers in your precinct, your group's candidate is declared non-viable. You'll then be asked to join alignments with viable candidates or unite with other non-viable candidates in a second-round realignment.

Keep in mind, it's not one person, one vote. Candidates are competing to win Iowa delegates to the Democratic National Convention. The delegates are the ones who will pick the presidential nominee.

RELATED: What’s the difference between Iowa's Democratic and Republican caucuses?

RELATED: Early primary voting already underway in some states

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