Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My Night at the Caucus

The Texas Two Step: Primary & Caucus:
I voted yesterday and participated in the caucuses last evening. It was so exciting. This was my first caucus. It was very different than I expected. The caucuses started after the polls closed, at 7 pm. Actually, they started after the last person voted, so it was closer to 8 pm. Imagine 500 people standing outside on the lawn of an election center as people in line finished voting.

While on the lawn, they rounded us up into our precinct with one person holding up the precinct number sign. We had six or seven precincts. Each precinct had about 60 to 100 participants and we were all huddled up together in our groups.

After the last voter voted, they called out each precinct number and they hurded us into a section of the election center. Our precinct was second to the last called. As we were called, each group hooped and hollered. There was so much energy and excitement in the air, it was more like a pep rally.
I did notice something different, however. What I noticed was that for my suburb, there was a different ethnicity mix than I usually see when I go to the mall or bowling. I live in an affluent multi cultural suburb and this is reflected when I go shopping or out to dinner. The mix is generally: 55% Anglo (various ethnicities), 15% Hispanic, 15% Black, 15% Asian or Middle Eastern. At the election center, the mix was: 40% Anglo, 40% Black, 10% Asian-Middle Eastern, 10% Hispanic.

Once we went to our designated area, they asked for a volunteer Precinct Leader and a Secretary. I volunteered for secretary. Actually, since they told us outside they were looking for volunteers for each position, I volunteered outside. When we came inside, they all just voted for me. They had 2 volunteers for precinct leader and one person was elected. The leader and I worked out a plan to verify and sign up all the caucus members and their votes and ask for volunteer delegates. Since I was the secretary and signed everyone up, I saw that every Black voter and every mixed race couple (Black plus other) voted for Obama. Some of the yuppy career couples voted for Obama too. The majority of women (especially the self confident, outgoing, career women) and Hispanics voted for Hillary. I also noticed a number of young preppy youth voting for Hillary.

Throughout the caucus vote, we asked for volunteer delegates, indicating that the delegates needed to stay after everyone voted so we could vote on resolutions and who would go to the County Caucus. Now the caucus vote for my precinct was 60% Obama and 40% Hillary. However, the volunteers for delegates who stayed were 30% Obama and 70% Hillary. Consequently, by the end of the evening, all of the Obama supporters who volunteered as delegates became delegates for the Convention. Unfortunately, since we had so many Hillary volunteers for delegates, we had to draw names. I didn´t get it, but I was the first alternate. (boo hoo for me). I still have a shot, especially if someone drops out, since I am the 1st Alternate.

The events ran late into the evening and I did not arrive home until 11:30pm. The time flew and I was not tired at all, but my husband was already in bed. I watched CNN to check the stats from the evening. We had been checking periodically from the caucus so I already knew Hillary was the winner in TX, RI and Ohio.


ultima said...

I had a similar experience at the GOP caucus in my neighborhood and ended up as a delegate to both the county and the state conventions. Romney won Colorado by about 3:2 over McCain and I suspect our local caucus was not much different although the margin could have been greater. I was asked only two questions: what is your name and who do you support? When I said Romney for the second answer that's all it took. The county assembly is tomorrow and the state convention which will be in our local events center will be on the 26th of March.

The caucus seemed to consist mostly of middle aged anglos with a sprinkling of others, younger, older or of different ethnicities. The caucus seemed to be somewhat disorganized because many more people showed up than we typically see at these caucuses. A fire engine showed up because someone (a Democrat??) complained that we had too many people in the caucus room.

The Texas process both a primary and a caucus is a puzzle to most of us.

Dee said...

You are right. It made no sense. Its almost like a test. Those who are most persistent get the most votes.

dianne said...

Caucuses are totally unfair. They disenfranchise people who cannot attend, who work, who are disabled and need transportation to places far away from home and not representative of the total population. I could go on and on.

Dee...I noticed in your precinct the apparent disparity in demographics of your area vs those voting in the caucus. It would be interesting to view the Texas caucus voter demographics with the Texas primary voter demographics.

Dee said...

I agree. Caucuses are unfair for the reasons you cited. We were there for hours and it was so unorganized.

Re the demographics, I think there were different for the caucuses because Obama sent out several emails and in his rallies made sure people understood they needed to go back and vote in the caucuses. It was interesting because most of his supporters did not want to be delegates, they just wanted their votes to be counted again then they left. They kept asking that question. "I am getting credit for this vote." Then they left.

Dee said...

Just as a note, the number of votes counted in the caucus enabled us to determine the number of delegates.

dianne said...

o/t Dee - I've looked on your blog for a way to contact you but can't find one. Do you make your e-mail available or prefer not to? I would completely understand if you don't care to share it, but if you do, I'd like to have it.

ultima said...

At our county assembly, there were a number of resolutions voted on, all of which passed but some by a large margin than others. There were a few pro abortion votes for one reason or another. About 90% voted for Official English and deportation.

ultima said...

Maybe this topic should be renamed, "A Night at the Opera" -- and old Marx Brothers movie.

patriot said...

90% voted for Official English and deportation? The pro-amnesty crowd usually claims that quite the opposite of the majority of Americans is true, don't they?

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