My First Caucus Experience

Discussion in 'Politics' started by InTheLight, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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    My wife and I went to the Minnesota caucus last night, first time in my life. If you've ever wondered what goes on at a caucus, read on.

    It was crowded. Oh my goodness, was it crowded. We arrived at our local high school 45 minutes before the 7:00 pm start of the caucus and we couldn't find a parking spot. Cars were lined up streaming in and out of the parking lot in a constant procession. I would guess the lot has 400 to 450 spots. We ended up parking a block away in an overflow lot. We got one of the last spots available.

    The caucus was organized by voting precincts. We were told to go to the classroom for your particular precinct. When we got there it was already nearly full, only 4 desks of the 35 available desks were available. They check your name against a list (I was on it, my wife wasn't) we register, apply a name tag, pick up an agenda, receive a ticket that says "Admit to Vote", and take a desk. We took two desks in the front and center of the room.

    The caucus leader, er, temporary caucus chairperson, starts the meeting at exactly 7:00 pm. We stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. He describes what is going to happen that evening and then gets right to the Presidential preference poll. But first, the opportunity for someone to speak on behalf of their candidate. A woman speaks for about a minute about why she's going to vote for Rubio. A man speaks a little longer for Cruz. Another man summarizes the 5 candidates outlooks: Cruz, conservative constitutionalist, Trump, anti-establishment outsider; Rubio, traditional conservative GOPer, Kasich, multi-experienced GOPer, Dr. Ben Carson, concerned private citizen. (People are still registering and entering the classroom.)

    A call for "tellers", or vote counters is given. Two people are nominated and confirmed to count the votes. Another person is nominated and confirmed to be auditor. The tellers go around the room collecting the voting tickets and simultaneously handing out the ballots. Essentially, you trade your ticket for a ballot. This year it is a binding vote; in year's past it was a straw vote that was not binding. (People are still registering and entering the classroom.) It's about 7:25 pm now.

    The ballots are collected and while the tellers are counting (yes, making tally marks next to the names of the candidates on a piece of paper), under the watchful eye of the auditor, the chairman is asking for nominations for delegates and alternate delegates to attend the district convention and the state convention. I turn around in my seat and take a 360 panorama view of the classroom. It is packed solid. People are standing lined up along the walls, people are sitting on the floor. Many are waving themselves with their agendas to relieve the heat in the room. Some brought their kids. They fill the 10 delegates and get 2 alternate delegates.

    They pass an oversized envelope for donations.

    The vote counting is completed. As an integrity check, the auditor announces that the number of Vote tickets collected and the number of ballots collected are the same. Here's the result:

    Rubio 50
    Cruz 21
    Trump 15
    Kasich 3
    Carson 1

    That's 90 voters in a classroom made to hold 35 people!

    The agenda next called for a discussion of local candidates and the Republican platform. At this point we decide to leave. We see our neighbors while we are walking out. They parked 5 blocks away so we give them a ride to their car. We go home and watch the results from Super Tuesday on TV.
     
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  2. Revmitchell

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    Will probably be rubio's only win.
     
  3. Rolfe

    Rolfe
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    ITL, I am surprised nobody has yet expressed disbelief that you voted Republican. Laugh
     
  4. InTheLight

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    No it won't.
     
  5. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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    Yes, I am now a registered Republican.

    (Bookmarking this thread for future reference.)
     
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  6. Rolfe

    Rolfe
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    You should save the trouble, and make it your signature. *laugh*
     
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  7. kyredneck

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    KY has it's first caucus this coming Saturday, to be held for our county in town at the Jr High 10 am - 4 pm. As of now I'm abstaining (Trump has commanding lead) but might have to go look at it anyhow.
     
  8. Salty

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    In the LIght -
    Why didn't you stay for local candidates and platform?
    This is where you input has more of a say!
     
  9. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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    Just after the presidential poll was taken my 15 year old son texted me that someone had been repeatedly knocking at the front door of our house, but every time he looked outside no one was there. So we left.
     
  10. kyredneck

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    I'm curious, did you ever purchase the handgun?
     
  11. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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    No, I never got around to it. Still mulling it over.

    Sent from my Motorola Droid Turbo using Tapatalk.
     

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