Monday, February 4, 2008

Rockus at the Caucus

I hope to go be all political and stuff this Saturday. My teamworks project ends at 1, and then I head to Queen Anne Baptist to Caucus it up.

How do I know where to go? Because I went here to find out.

I know very little about the process, but this site has a great FAQ section on it.

My friend Susanna has a fantastic post about caucusing and why Obama might just be better for our nation than Clinton.

This information is a little biased to my political leanings - here's some general info a friend passed along.

It’s difficult to escape the news about this year’s Presidential election and the drama of the primary season. Most people are aware by now who won Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses, and who won New Hampshire’s primary. However, many people are still not aware that political parties in Washington state pick some or all of their delegates in a caucus system, rather than a primary. This year’s Washington state Presidential caucus is coming up on February 9th, at 1:00pm.

Washington state’s Democrats chose to elect all their candidate’s delegates entirely with the caucus system, while Republicans choose to split their delegates between the caucus and the state primary. The end result of this is that if you want your voice heard in your party’s presidential selection process, you need to take part in Washington state’s caucus. We’re attempting, with this email, to answer some of your questions about the caucus process and give you some confidence as you go in on February 9th to make your voice heard.

How does a caucus work?

A caucus is essentially a neighborhood meeting. You will publicly declare your candidate preference, your vote will be counted, and you are done. Both major parties’ caucuses work the same basic way:

· At 1:00pm, arrive and sign in. By signing in, you pledge that you consider yourself a member of that party, and you will be asked to declare your candidate preference. If you are unsure, “Uncommitted” is an option.

· A secretary will be appointed or elected

· Your precinct counts votes using the candidate preference from the sign in sheets, apportions delegates, and votes for delegates. Delegate selection cannot begin earlier than 1:30pm.

· The caucus adjourns, typically in one to two hours.

There are some differences:

· At the Democratic caucus, there is a period of time after the initial vote count when you can switch your candidate preference. This is useful if your chosen candidate does not have enough votes to earn a delegate and you would like to cast your vote for your second choice. You have the right to stick with your first preference, regardless of delegate apportionment.

· Delegate apportionment and some agenda items are slightly different between the parties.

· For the Democrats, the Washington state primary (on February 19, 2008) is advisory only. All delegates are selected via the caucus process.

· For the Republicans, the Washington state primary (on February 19, 2008) provides the majority of their delegate allocation. The caucuses will provide no more than 18 of their total delegates in the Presidential selection process.

Where is my caucus?

Democrats:

Caucus finder: http://www.wa-democrats.org/caucusfinder

Republicans:

King County: http://www.kcgop.org/caucus_locator.html

Pierce County: http://www.piercegop.org/Election%20date%20information.htm

Snohomish County: http://snocogop.com/main/content/view/138/1/

For other counties, click here: http://www.wsrp.org/About/Default.aspx?SectionID=115

2 comments:

Michelle said...

Hooray for caucusing! In 2004, I got to be a delegate for Kucinich and went to the 2nd round of caucuses at Ballard High School. It was pretty cool. The most "Seattle" moment was when a guy stood up and said he was a pagan and he'd appreciate it if minority religious calendars were consulted before the caucus schedule was set. (The second round was on May 1, apparently a pagan holiday.)

Grounded Girl said...

Thanks for the link, Noelle! I have to confess, I had a moment last night when my friend, CJo, clearly a Clinton supporter, expressed her disgust with Obama's digs at Clinton during his Super Tuesday speech. "And, would it KILL him to mention that women are fighting in Iraq, too?" Other conversations this week have pointed out that it's still acceptable to be a misogynist in our culture, whereas racism is generally no longer tolerated. Also, that women tend to be hardest on members of our own gender. But I listen to Hillary Clinton and I think "I can't listen to that voice for four years. I am tired of the lying and the division. I am tired of the Clintons." Let's give the Republicans a new fight, not one they've honed for 16 years. Let's challenge division with unity or at the very least a willingness to listen.

I feel like Obama is going to waltz in Washington, but what I'm really excited about is the anticipated participation. Go, fight, caucus.

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