Wednesday, March 2, 2016

My Caucus Experience


I just got back from the Colorado Caucus and the turnout was huge. At my caucus place they expected 1,000 people and 3,000 showed up. They say that 500-700 people could not get into the building. It was an elementary school and was maxed out according to fire regulations. From what I saw, it was definitely a Bernie majority, but the delegates are supposed to meet later this week for the final count. I do not like the caucus process. It was interesting, but I think essentially not fair. We should just have one person, one vote elections. For example, since my precinct was only allotted 2 delegates the bote was Bernie 45, Hillary 25, but each got one delegate because you cannot send less than one person and the vote could not justify sending 2 for Bernie. However, if it were a simple election, Bernie would have won by a landslide. I say do away with all the delegate nonsense. I will say that everyone was civil. No yelling and swearing and interesting to see neighbors in a different light and meet new people in the process. 

A peculiar fact I discovered is that I live in a small apartment building with just 8 units. One of my neighbors was also at the caucus, and she and I were in two different precincts. I always thought that a precinct was a division of geography, like lines on a map so people on this side are in this one and on the other side, you are in another one. However, someone else told me that they knew of people who lived in the same house who were in two different precincts. I think that is weird. And I think that junking the caucus system with its delegates and simply going back to a mail in vote would be much more efficient and accurate. And hearing that other precincts had the same outcome with one delegate for each even though the margin of victory was 2 to 1, a simple vote probably would have shown Bernie winning Colorado by 40% rather than 17%. There were also people in other polling places that had turn away crowds, which tells me two things. One, that for physical events like this we need places bigger than an elementary school. Two, even though it was an interesting experience, it is not most fair and efficient. I hope the legislature goes back to a primary mail in vote rather than caucus again. Before I moved to Colorado, I remember standing in line at election time sometimes for 2 hours in a parking lot waiting for my turn to get inside the polling place and mark my votes on a machine. I do not wish to go back to that method. I think that the vote by mail method is best. That way I can take the time to look up ballot initiatives and candidates so that I can make my best choice. I believe that it is important to exercise our right to vote and take part in helping to make decisions.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Your comments about the caucus system are exactly what everyone I've talked thinks. So you would think that if we could get a referendum going, or whatever they call it to get it on the ballot, it would surely pass. My precinct had 4 delegates. If we'd had 5, it would have exactly been 3 Bernie, 2 Hillary. But we had to split the delegates. So not fair.