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My Experience At The Washington State Caucus

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posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 03:55 PM
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Where to start? This was a mixture of learning, excitement, disgust and hope. Let me start from the begining and just tell this the best way I know how; as a story. But a true one.




Washington State Republican Caucus 2012


My interest in politics has always been, shall we say, one of a good debate. You know, sitting around the dinner table with my Dad when I was a teen and unable to vote yet, to a good debate over the phone now as an adult. I like to complain. It is the American way. I like to think I am good at it. I can find all sorts of things to complain about and discuss at length in politics begining with saying how much I dislike it. Do you know how many times I have voted for a president though? Twice. I am forty. That is unacceptable. I should have had my debate/complainer privileges revoked years ago. I voted first when I was 18 in 1989 for Dukakis. The second time was in the last election. I got so disgusted during that time that I changed to non-partisan and voted for Ron Paul (I wrote his name down). Being in Washington State and that the president was already pretty much elected by the time we even got to the polls, I figured what the hell.

This year has been different. For the first time ever, I have taken the time to educate myself on not only the topics but the candidates. Not the fluff you get from the headlines either, but the real stuff. You know what I'm talking about. I think, that like so many of us Americans, I am scared. Scared of what is happening to this country and of what is yet to come. The only candidate I see offering an exit on this highway to hell is Ron Paul. It will still be a bumpy ride, but at least it won't be a dead end.

Even though I have been following his campaign and watching the results ....the only way I found out about my own caucus here in Washington State was due to a phone call I got last week from a Ron Paul supporter. I think he was surprised (or maybe not) when instead of hanging up on him I thanked him for calling. Our local paper just had an Associated Press article regarding it a couple of days ago, with a very small headline hidden amongst the other dull, un-important stories. The last two days I tried searching around some other local government websites trying to find which district/precinct I belong to. I seem to have misplaced my voters card (actually, I vaguely remember throwing it out, swearing to never vote again). The County and State websites both directed me to the same page where you input your info to get it. Only problem was, I needed my precinct # and in order to get that, I had to put in my precinct name. I hadn't a clue. So I finally found it yesterday on a you guessed it! Ron Paul website. It also had my local caucus location, so thank-you very much to the only campaign that seems to care about giving the power back to the people. I know, I know, that is a scary thought.

Our local Goernment didn't give accurate information on how to vote and our paper had absolutely ZERO info on where/how or when to do it! Disgusting.

So this morning I eagerly arrived at my local caucus location (our High School) not really knowing what to expect.

The only info given out locally was that the caucus was from 10 am to 2 pm. If not for the Ron Paul campaign I would have not had a clue that I needed to get there before ten. (you are suposed to be registered and in the room before ten. They are suposed to then lock the doors and get underway. Most people thought you could get there to vote anytime from 10-2) When I walked up to the main entrance, the only visible indicator that I was in the right place, were the two Ron Paul signs stuck in the dirt on either side of the entrance. "Yes", I thought. There were no other signs. Nothing on the reader board, nothing on the doors...zip. Nada. Just inside there was a table with a very tired looking woman in her 70s to tell me which room to go to. None of the sheets had my precinct name on them, but a young man who happened to be walking by with some chairs told me I was in room 102.

Turns out his name was John and he was also in my precinct. He was also a Ron Paul supporter. When I first walked in the room, there were about six long tables set up, the one nearest the door had sign-in sheets. John told me to be sure to sign in. I looked at the 8 different identical sheets laying out on the table and was going to select one at random when he put one in front of me and said to sign that one. I later discovered that they were each for a different precinct whithin our district.

After filling in my info and the last box that asked which candidate I preffered, I looked up. To my surprise I was in the company of over forty other people.....all of them around the same age or older than my parents! I would guess that the average age in the room was no less than 60. I looked back down at the other forms on the table and saw that most of them had written in either Romney or Santorum. So. The rumors are true. I then wandered into the room and stood near the front since there weren't any chairs left. It took a few minutes, but again thanks to John I discovered that I had to sit at the table with my precinct (which was the one that had the sheets on it and that John was sitting at with the only four other younger voters). He found a chair for me and I settled in to be educated on how this all worked (because what I had read didn't prepare me).

I won't bore you to death. It was quite ridiculous. There was a PCO for each precinct who ran the caucus at their table. We voted in a secretary, handed around an info sheet on issues, asked if there was anything anyone wanted to debate or change. We couldn't vote on delegates until 10:30am and since our table was the only one that knew how it all worked and the only table with Ron Paul supportes, we just waited. Some of the other tables had some lively talk, but they obviously didn't understand the process.

When 10:30 rolled around there was a simple action at our table of a show of hands for who wanted to be a delegate. I motioned we just accept them and it was done. Both our delegates and back-ups were all Ron Paul supporters. Unfortunately, I was able to sit and look through the total caucus votes since the sheets were just left laying out on the table in front of me. Here is how it broke down:

Romney: 17
Santorum: 14
Ron Paul: 7
Newt: 1

There were a total of 47 people in that room. Do the math. Some of the people did not write in a candidate. Some wrote in two candidates. Some signed in on two sheets and voted twice, voiding their votes. The only ones that I know will stick are the Ron Paul votes, because John went through and corrected anyone who had signed up twice. The other tables weren't as privy.

So there you have it. Not what I expected. I have decided that my generation and the next are either clueless, simpy don't care or are so fed up they just don't think their vote maters anymore. You know though? IT DOES All my friends that talk the big talk and complainers out there....you missed your only chance today. I voted. I voted for the only person I believe will stay with this sinking ship: RON PAUL!!!!!


OH..and one of those Ron Paul signs that were out front is now in my yard.




posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 03:55 PM
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reply to post by westcoast
 


The one good thing I took away from the experience, other than my right to vote:




Here is a website showing the Washington State Caucus Results (nothing in yet)


edit on 3-3-2012 by westcoast because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 04:59 PM
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My biggest problem with this caucus, at least in my district, is that it was NOT a fair representation of our population or voters. It was disheartening to see that over 90% of the people taking the time to show up were senior citizens. Where are all the young advocates out making all the noise? Why weren't THEY there? I saw TWO people that were in their 20s, two that were probably in their low 30s and then myself (40). Everyone else was 50 or above with most at least 60. This was a group of 47 people.

I think it sums up our younger generation: ALL for NOTHING. They want everything but don't want to have to do anything to get it. No accountability or responsibility. Now, I know that this is a huge generalization and certainly does NOT apply to everyone, but I think that it does the majority. It's too bad we all play right into the hands of big government. The older generation by being afraid of change, and younger generation for wanting it, but not being willing to go after it.



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 05:05 PM
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reply to post by westcoast
 


I have a question for ya.. Did you happen to pre-register for the caucus in your area, or did you register when you got there? The reason I ask this is because there is a little strategy the GOP sometimes uses that I found out about at the Ron Paul caucus training in my area. If you pre-register, they can look into which candidate you support based on your donations etc and give you a precinct number that is low on Paul supporters decreasing his chance of getting delegates. It's a shady move, but every candidate is required to give donation info etc when requested by the GOP. It's shady, but not against the current rules..This could be one reason you were put with a bunch of stiffs!
edit on 3-3-2012 by Wookiep because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 05:09 PM
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Thanks for the detailed writeup!

I sure do wish more Americans would act like you and really educate themselves on the candidates and their stances. An informed electorate could do wonders for this country.

Thank you again!



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 05:13 PM
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reply to post by Wookiep
 


No, I didn't hear anything about pre-registering. I was at my own precinct based on my physical address. I think the only reason there were other young Paul supportes was due to John getting his friends and family at the table to vote. I really am surprised at the rest of the room. We are a small, rural community. Some even call us hicks. I expected so much more.


Although, perhaps it is because the neighborhoods largely represnted hold a lot of older family homes, that we got an older majority? I dunno. either that, or Santorum and Romney are hitting the nursing homes up pretty hard.



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 05:17 PM
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Thanks much for sharing and participating, much appreciated. Thanks to you're info I know to let others in on the fine detail. The rally I went to in ID was immense with support and am hoping for the same this coming Mon and Tues Super Tuesday., he'll be in Idaho : The Events
edit on 3-3-2012 by dreamingawake because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 05:19 PM
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reply to post by westcoast
 


Ok thanks, I was just curious. They always do it by address, but if they know before hand who you support then they can break it off into smaller groups etc. I was given strict instruction not to pre-register but it was too late since I already had.

Anyway, I'm sure the smaller remote polulations have a larger older crowd who only watch whats on the MSM. THIS is why we should care about the media manipulation. It's easy to say "don't watch the news anymore, solved!" but it doesn't solve anything. This whole process belongs to the media and will continue because not enough people care about it.
edit on 3-3-2012 by Wookiep because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 05:38 PM
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reply to post by Wookiep
 


Right. And they KNOW this. They know that the older, more dedicated voters rely on the media to tell them who to vote for. They want to support the winner. It's all so very frustrating.



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 05:38 PM
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I think one of the reasons for the feeling of disarray is that this is only the second time in history that Washington has used the caucus system. Prior to that we had a primary, so people aren't really used to this way of doing things.

My experience was very similar to yours, OP, except that the place was mobbed. there was a pickup truck parked near the road with a giant Ron Paul sign, so the polling place was obvious. My precinct is apparently very small. Some of the tables had dozens of people there. The oarking lot was completely full.

I believe the MSM, not to mention supporters of the candidates, have somewhat misconstrued what this caucus does. It's just the start of a gruling process. Next step is the county convention, followed by the state convention. The delegate selection process at the caucus and county levels is really a hit or miss proposition no matter who you are for. It's kind of a quickie popularity contest.

The real politics is at the state convention where I believe it's mostly back room deals. I went to the state convention last time where the party pretty much told us what we were going to do. A slate of delegates was put before us, and we were "urged" to just vote for it.

I would characterize the caucus level as very naive, the county level as loosely organized at best, and the state level as where the really important politics takes place.



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 05:50 PM
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reply to post by schuyler
 


Thank you for the insight! It is really what we need to know. I find your personal experiences really interesting, too. We really are a lazy country and it seems that when it comes to actually doing something other than pushing a button with instant gratification, we just aren't interested. I would just like to see a honest election.



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 07:39 PM
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So far Romney is in first with 37% and Paul and Santorum a close second with Paul at 24 and Santorum 23....less than a 100 votes seperating them.

There are still a lot of large districts out though, including Spokane. That's a college town too and I hope there is a better Ron Paul turnout there than Seattle. I am banking on him taking Whatcom county. LOTS of constitutionalists up there.



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 08:09 PM
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Here we go again.

Check out the 'projected' winner, with 42% of the vote in. Way to go CNN.





When you go to their map and click on the precincts, you find something interesting. While the other candidates move around based on the results (highest to lowest), the precincts where Ron Paul win, Romney remains at the TOP. Hmmmmm.....



I'm so sick of this.


source



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 08:41 PM
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I voted for Ron Paul in the caucus this morning, my precinct was 3 - Paul, 2 - Romney, 1 - Santorum, 1 - Newt.

The counties to pay attention to here are King, Pierce, and Spokane, all of which have not reported 100% as of yet.

King county is the county i voted in, which is where Seattle is located. I am only showing 25% reporting.
Pierce county is where Tacoma is located. I am only showing 30.7% reporting.

The gap is closing, i really hope it keeps moving like it is. Even though it is just a straw poll, i would still love to see my home state be the one to give Ron Paul a win!

DC



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 10:28 PM
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reply to post by xDeadcowx
 


Well, according to the 'polls' Romney won with 15,180 Ron Paul 2nd with 10,539 and Santorum a close 3rd with 10,299


I gotta say I was totally disgusted with my county (skagit) where Gingrich almost tied with Paul. I am trying to find the break-down on the precincts (if anyone can help me with that I'd appreciate it) because this seems to be WAY off.


edit on 3-3-2012 by westcoast because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2012 @ 10:33 PM
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You weren't the only person that had this problem.

Check out this thread:

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Mar, 4 2012 @ 02:05 PM
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Just FYI: The county conventions are in April and the statewide Republican Convention is May 31st thru June 2nd in Tacoma.



posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 12:43 AM
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Originally posted by westcoast

I think it sums up our younger generation: ALL for NOTHING. They want everything but don't want to have to do anything to get it. No accountability or responsibility. Now, I know that this is a huge generalization and certainly does NOT apply to everyone, but I think that it does the majority. It's too bad we all play right into the hands of big government. The older generation by being afraid of change, and younger generation for wanting it, but not being willing to go after it.



You've just pointed the root causes for pretty much every ill of this society, brother.

Ron Paul 2012
End the fed.



posted on Mar, 7 2012 @ 12:50 AM
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reply to post by westcoast
 


"all for nothing"

You hit it on the head. I think the youngsters out there are smart enough to know that the whole voting process is a sham, and don't want to risk losing their jobs in this economy to take time off to vote in a system that is rigged and pointless.



posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 10:24 AM
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Thanks for the info! I just made a thread asking if it's worth it. Kansas is in the same situation, second time for caucuses, I always voted in primaries before. Weird.

I did change from unaffiliated to Repub on my registration because I thought we would have a primary as per usual, and you had to be a reg Repub to vote in it.

Now I don't know what the hell is going on....
you helped a lot. I had looked into the w-pedia description and one other "explanation" (which was more a bunch of pictures)...of the tables, signing in, etc. Still don't know what to really expect. Not even sure if I'll bother. Should I bother?



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