Saturday, March 1, 2008

first you primary then you what?

If you managed to make early voting yesterday (like I did right before the polls closed) it probably entailed some form of line standing and waiting. This little man started checking our ID's and talking about the CAUCUS. He walked away and literally every person he talked to looked around at each other like, "say WHAT?" Then one chick finally said, "You go, it's after the primary, but I don't know what you do there." Come on Texas, we're better than this! At dance practice no one there knew what I was talking about either. So I said I'd look it up. I'll do my best, holla at me if you know something I don't you politically active ones (Enchanshizzy).
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First of all, primaries really count. Y'all wanna stomp around talking about "your vote doesn't count," well here's your chance. If you've been registered at least a month, you're able to vote in the TX primary in your precinct on March 4th. If your supporting McCain you can probably sit at home (although I full support people Rocking the Vote whenever possible) because his bid is pretty much a done deal. But if you're looking at a Democratic candidate, your vote can make help make a statement. Both candidates are counting on Texas and Ohio to "prove" their viability as a presidential candidate. Polls from 02/28 show Clinton and Obama statistically tied - so get out there.

Texas Democrats specifically have a notoriously complicated system called the "Texas Two-Step" with a primary AND a caucus when most states have either one or the other. The Houston Chronicle has a good article about the logistics but basically you vote in the primary (if you haven't done so earlier) during the day (7AM - 7PM, google your voting location) and then show up for the Democratic Caucus that night (starting about 7:15 PM). You HAVE to vote in the primary to vote in the caucus.

At the caucus you walk in, sign up for your candidate of choice (not a secret ballot), and then stick around to help select the delegates or move around if you have other things to do. The number of people who show up at the caucus and sign in for their candidate determines how many delegates each candidate is assigned for that precinct. And delegates is what really counts. The twist is that there are 35 superdelegates in Texas who are able to vote however they wish.

So, in theory, a candidate could win in the primary with the popular vote and lose in the caucus with delegates. Hmm... haven't we see this movie before? The Chronicle article has a quote about how
problematic it is that people don't understand the process and yet our state counts for so much

Point of the story: First you primary, then you caucus.

1 comment:

Enchanshizzy said...

i broke it down in bottle caps to my friend about the primary and the caucus. i said think of the primary as coke reward bottle caps cuz you get 3 pts per cap but with the caucus(coke boxes) you get 20pts. lol i guess you had to be there. but yeah you got it rizzight.