Saturday, February 09, 2008

Washington Democratic Caucuses: Unfair to Independents?

Big Turnout Expected at Local Precinct Caucuses (Lewis County, The Chronicle) The presidential precinct caucuses are set to begin today at 1 p.m. in homes, schools, granges and other locations throughout Lewis County and the rest of Washington....

It may be time to revamp the presidential election process (To the Editor, Daily Record) After I had filled out my ballot I was disappointed that I could not simply vote for the best person for the job without swearing allegiance to one party or the other. Even though I would prefer to be considered independent of any party (even the independent party) I sent off my ballot. Several days later I was told that my vote did not matter as the presidential candidate would be decided at the party caucuses.....

The caucuses are going on right now, and you can watch one in Seattle live on CNN

From the Spokesman Review:
Q: What's a caucus, anyway?
A: A caucus is a meeting. In this case, it's a meeting of members of a political party in the state's smallest political subdivision, a precinct. In Spokane and most other counties, precincts vary in size, from a few blocks in the center of a city to large rural tracts.
Q: Do I have to be a registered Democrat or Republican to attend?
A: No, because voters in Washington don't register by party. When you arrive and sign in, you'll be asked to state that on this day, for this particular meeting, you consider yourself a member of that party.
Q: What if I'm an independent? Doesn't that violate my constitutional rights?.....

For a discussion of this issue, see Harry Kresky's article in the Takoma News Tribune.

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