The story

The arcane rules governing Thursday's Iowa Democratic caucuses will test even the most organized campaign, but mastery of the process could launch a candidate on a path to the White House.

Most Americans are familiar with how elections work -- secret ballots, an 18-year-old age requirement, all-day voting.

But that's not how the Iowa Democratic caucuses on Thursday will work.

When the Democratic caucuses begin at 7 p.m. CT sharp in school gymnasiums, libraries, churches, farm houses and other locations in the 1,781 precincts across the Hawkeye state, step one will be to stand up and be counted.

"What you'll do is get up out of your seat and you'll go walk to the corner or space by the wall designated for the candidate of your choice," Chelsea Waliser, an organizer for Sen. Barack Obama, told potential caucus-goers during a recent Obama rehearsal caucus. Interactive: A step-by-step look at how the caucuses work Read full article »

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