Confused about the what the Iowa Caucus is? Your not alone. Here's a quick caucus primer.

The Iowa Caucuses, held on Monday, February 1 this year, are the first formal electoral event of the 2016 presidential nominating calendar. It is unique and very different from the more common primary election systems used by most states such as Texas.

Here's a quick primer. Iowa has almost 1,700 precincts and 99 counties. Residents go to their local precinct locations to participate. However, the two major parties have created rules that strictly govern the process. Both parties also have rules unique to their party too. While the rules can change, they rarely do. Here are rules common to both the major parties. First, you must be 18 years old by the general election date to participate. Secondly, participants in each party's caucuses must be a registered member with that party. Participants can change their registration at the caucus location, but this rarely occurs. Thirdly, caucus-goers also begin the process of writing their parties' platforms by introducing resolutions. Lastly, candidate organizers play a big role for both parties at every precinct event.

The Republican Party caucus process, starting this year, requires a binding method of selecting delegates to county conventions (remember Iowa has 99 counties). The voting is pretty straight forward. You arrive at your precinct site and vote by secret ballot for your candidate of choice. Each county convention then selects delegates for both Iowa's Congressional District Convention and State Convention. It's at both of these conventions that delegates are selected for the presidential nominating convention. The rule change this year was made as a result of "irregularities" that occurred during the 2012 caucus. The process rewards candidates who have strong organizers, who brought supporters to the caucus sites and are willing to serve as delegates to the county conventions.

The process used by the Democrat Party is more complex. Every precinct divides its delegate seats among the candidates in proportion to caucus goers' votes. Participants indicate who they are supporting by standing in a designated area to show their preference. Those undecided also group together separate from everyone else. For the next 30 minutes, participants try to convince members from different preference groups to join their camp. It's not unusual for those who change their preference to recruit others from their prior preference group. After 30 minutes, the groups reform. Caucus officials then determine which preference groups have met a viability threshold of 15% of attendees. Only candidates who meet the viability threshold can earn a delegate. Another 30 minute period is taken for a final realignment. The final realignment is where a voter's second candidate of choice becomes very important. The voting closes and a final head count is conducted. It's from the final count that delegates to the county convention are determined.

Do you like the Iowa caucusing process? Texas uses a primary rather than a caucusing process. Our primary is part of the "Super Tuesday" primary on March 1. Should we change or keep the current system?