Cedar Falls Caucuses Get Under Way
After months of campaigning, hundreds of candidate stops and way too many political commercials, the Iowa caucuses -- finally -- have begun. Check back with Patch for live results as they come in.
At the UNI-Dome, at least a thousand people had entered by 7 p.m., and more were streaming in to the Republican caucuses in Black Hawk County.
Organizers postponed the start time because people were still checking in. The check-in lines were long but moving smoothly, with everyone saying it was much better than four years ago when the Republican caucuses were at Central Middle School in Waterloo.
In 2008, 3,000 people voted but another 1,000 were turned away, according to Black Hawk County Republicans organizers.
Jen Reisetter, 36, of Cedar Falls, brought her two children, Jillian, 4, and Jentry, 1.
"We just feel we want our kids to understand this is great responsibility not to take it lightly. We feel if they see us do it from a young age they will, too," said Reisetter, who is supporting Rick Santorum.
Some at the event had still not decided on candidates.
"I think electability is really the most important thing," said Darren Winkowitsch, 46, of Cedar Falls, who could't decide between Rick Perry, Mitt Romney or Michele Bachmann.
Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and showed up at the UNI-Dome, which is Black Hawk County’s only caucus site. Each of the 63 precincts has been given it’s own space in the arena.
The caucuses began at 7 p.m. For some areas, results will be known in a matter of 30 minutes or so. Larger caucuses could take a couple of hours. That depends on how many candidate representatives speak, how long they speak for and how many votes need to be counted.
The GOP record for caucus-goers is 118,411, set in 2008, when Mike Huckabee won, followed by Mitt Romney, Fred D. Thompson, John McCain, Ron Paul and Rudy Giuliani.
Patch will provide live coverage of the results as they come in.