An Adventure In A Caucus State
Yesterday I experienced going through a Caucus election. Now for those of you who don't understand how it works, the best thing that I can say is since you live in a state with Primaries, don't move to one with a Caucus. Let me tell you what I experienced.
Having lived in two other states where Primaries are held, it is kind of nice as one has about a 12 hour period to go to the polling place and place ones vote. Yes one has to go through the people who are trying to get you to vote one way, but once you are in the booth your vote is secret and you can in my opinion be honest as to whom you want to see in the office you are voting for. You can easily tell everyone how much you dislike a certain candidate, but once you are in the both you can vote for the person without any guilt.
In a caucus state your vote is public. You may talk smack about a certain person running just to keep your true feelings hidden, but in this case you won't be able to hide.
With the press I was hearing that people would be in line talking about the candidates, but what I found was that people were complaining about doing this through a caucus method and not through a Primary. People were talking about how those who were Orthodox Jews, 7th Day Adventist and in other religious faiths could not attend because of it, which meant that the person who they wanted to win wouldn't get a chance to have their voice heard. Others were upset because in a state like this with so many "Shift Workers", those people would not be able to come since they had to work in order to pay the bills. A few were upset because it doesn't permit this in the military who are based outside of the state and country wouldn't have the ability to have a say also.
After being in line for about an hour, I finally got through registration and into the room. What was really bad was that things had already started for some of the precincts, and all of the precincts were in the same room, which made things difficult as it was hard to hear what was being said in my precinct. Some of the precincts moved into other rooms, but it was still noisy.
One of the hard things was that they should of put together those who spoke other languages. As much as people want to say that everyone who lives in this country needs to learn and speak English, but the truth of the matter is that this country has no official language and the constitution allows for the "freedom of speech", it means that people can learn and speak the language that they desire.
After things ended, I was sitting by the entry with my mom and suddenly realized that all of the laptops that were used to check people in where sitting there by the door with none of the election officials close by. Anyone could of walked away with them and all of the personal information in them.
Yes it is nice to be able to meet some of your neighbors, but with the confusion that was going on, it really isn't worth ones time. This process may work well in a small community, but I think that it could cause problems with the openness of it. From what I heard from others who had attended their caucus at other sites, they were also hearing and seeing the same things going on.
I heard several reasons on why the state switched to the caucus system, but this showed that the method is out of date and needs to be retired. Maybe if some major revamping were done to it the system could work, but I think that it would take way too much time and money to try and fix it. What I would really like to see if for ALL of the primaries to take place on the same day say 90 days before conventions start. We need to simplify this process, as I come away realizing that the press and pundits are in reality putting the story together so that they get the person that they desire to be the President. As much as we think that it is we the people who elect who represents us, the truth is that it is others who decide for us.
Maybe what we could do is have a pre-primary election where the top say 3 vote getters in each party would succeed to the main primary. Their would be only one debate for each party for the pre-primary, followed by say 3 for the main primary. Ads would only be permitted only two weeks before the elections (we have way too many political ads being broadcast,) as this would really allow to people take about the issues they plan to try and implement. We have way too many negative ads.
Anyway, if you live in a state that wants to switch to the Caucus system, fight as hard as you can to stop it, as the Primary system the best way to go in