I must admit I am still a bit fuzzy on how the delegates shake out in terms of caucus and popular votes here in Texas, but I thought it would be fun to share my first caucus experience.
I voted Tuesday, like normal and then returned home to my parents house* to use my Mom’s old computer, with old Windows, and old IE to do some work. Exhausted from those efforts, I took a nap. After a nice dinner with my parents, I headed back to my voting site to caucus at 7pm.
The Democrats were in a tiny room in an apartment complex that catered to older, retired people on scooters. The room was cramped and as more people kept coming in, some of the people attending started getting grumpy. I was just excited. Some less grumpy people around me, who had lived in Texas longer than I have been alive, never remembered having a caucus before this one and were excited with me. We waited, some patiently, some not, for the Caucus Chair to come in and give us instructions.
At this point some of the older ladies, two of which were on scooters, started griping about this taking a long time. We had been waiting about 10-15 minutes at this point and it was about 7:15. Caucusing was set to start no later than 7:30. “I hope we start soon. It is past my bedtime.” If I heard that complaint once, I heard it about 10 times. I wanted to ask her if she was voting for Hillary and then tell her to just go to bed already if she was, but I am nice, remember?
I am in a small caucus district, so I was not expecting many people. When the Caucus Chair came in the overflowing room he was shocked. He said in the last election, 8 Democrats voted in the caucus district. That day, almost 300 Dems had voted, and 57 of us had returned to caucus. We ended up switching rooms with the Republicans, who had a larger room and fewer people.
The process was fairly simple. We lined up and the volunteers checked to make sure we had voted earlier in the day. We then signed a sheet of paper with our name, contact information, and our vote: Hillary or Barack. While the two volunteers counted up the votes, we split off into separate sides of the room and counted ourselves. We were split 50/50 for the candidates, which was confirmed later by the official count.
Since we were evenly split, each group chose 5 delegates and 5 alternates to attend the County caucus this Saturday. From there, delegates will be chosen to go to Austin, and after that, the delegates chosen will go to Denver for the DNC in August.
As I said, how the actual numbers shake out in terms of how Barack and Hillary actually get delegates from this process is confusing, but it was fun and exhilarating to participate. The whole process was over at about 8:20. I hope those cranky old ladies made it home to their beds. I was right. The crankiest of the ladies did vote for Hillary.
–Jane, cranky ladies or no, it was a shiny experience
*Due to some complications while trying to register in my own county, I am still registered to vote at my parent’s address under my maiden name. As a result, I had to trek across town to do my civic duty. Hopefully, I can get this issue resolved soon, before the November elections.