TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - The 2014 election has now officially begun for Utah Republicans. Two days ago State Democrats held their caucus night, Thursday night it was Republican's turn.
Thousands of Utah Republicans met up for caucus night.
"We're here to make a difference," said one voter.
Caucus meetings across the state like those spread out throughout Taylorsville High School start the beginning of Utah's 2014 election cycle.
"I think it allows the voter to get engaged with their elected official and their candidates, they don't get an opportunity to do another way," said Rep. Jim Dunnigan, (R) District 39.
Voters choose delegates and precinct officers which help determine who gets on the ballot. Some feel its their civic duty.
"I think it's important to be involved in politics," said Terry Fullmer, attended caucus meeting.
"People can make a difference," said Tammy Ferrin, attended caucus meeting.
"It gives me an opportunity to participate and have my voice heard," said David Stromberg, attended caucus meeting.
2014 will be the last year Utah's Caucus system will be the only way to get elected. The State's Count My Vote initiative will give candidates the option to bypass caucus night.
"The Count My Vote will allow an additional path for people that want to get a number of signatures, they can get on the primary ballot as well," said Dunnigan.
Until then, candidates like Salt Lake County Council member Aimee Winder Newton is happy to have the caucus to help kick off her campaign.
"People who don't have money or name ID actually have a shot of getting on the ballot and that's what I love about it. It gives people a chance who may not other wise compete in a primary election," said Aimee Winder Newton, (R) Salt Lake Co. Council.
Count My Vote will kick in next year, but politicians claim people really won't see how it changes the caucuses until the 2016 election year. For the now the next big night voters and candidates will look forward to is the party convention and State primary.
Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @briancarlsontv
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