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.