I came, I saw, I caucus’ed

4 04 2016

It’s that time of year where I slowly start to hate my Facebook feed. Instead of being inundated by cute cat videos, dances and dog/baby pics, politics are rearing their ugly head.

With the elections coming up in the fall, I never really played all that active of a role in the political scene other than showing up at the polls and voting.

This year, something changed.  For me, it’s Bernie Sanders. I know that’s fighting words for some, but all political view points aside, its kind of hard to deny the impact he has had on people of my generation. For the first time in life, I actually showed up to my caucus. Actually, that’s not even entirely true, the more accurate statement is for the first time in my life I actually learned what a caucus was and how it works.

A few weekends ago, my Aunt and I headed over to the Montlake community center.  At first, my aunt was entirely convinced that the whole caucus was just to show your support for Bernie Sanders. When I explained, that it was a democratic caucus and that the point of it was to choose delegates for either Bernie Sanders or Hilary Clinton, she “felt a whole better.” 🙂

So we pile in at 9:30am (the caucus started at 10:00am, but I wanted to be safe, you never really know how much paperwork/registration is actually involved). We then head to our precinct number and gather around in our corner of the gymnasium and wait for “our person” (our caucus representative who would read a speech about what the caucus means and why we are all there).

At this point, it really felt like we lived in a small town. No joke. I felt like I was on an episode of the gilmore girls about to elect our new town mayor.  It was actually kind of cool. Seattle isn’t NYC by any means, but it is a pretty big city, so it was really neat to feel a part of a smaller community.


After everyone arrived we then gathered to listen to the required speech. We couldn’t hear the caucus representative speaking, so precinct 1991 headed outside of the gym into the sunlight so that we could.

The caucus worked like this

  1. You divide into your individual precincts based on where you live
  2. You fill out a preliminary vote on who your democratic nominee is
  3. Both the Hillary side and the Bernie side then give speeches to one another to try and convince the other “team” if you will of their nominees qualifications
  4. You then have a chance to change your vote
  5. Each precinct then gets a certain number of delegates based on the population of the precinct who then go on to represent their candidate until we get all the way to the Washington State Democratic Convention.  Precinct 1991 had a total of 7 delegates.

After we turned in our initial preliminary votes the speeches began. Unfortunately we were outside at this time (or maybe it was fortunately, because it did end up being a pretty lively experience), so we weren’t able to keep track of the other precincts. Because of this, we were still battling (aka discussing) away and the other precincts had already turned in their final ballets and gone home.


I am normally a pretty reserved, quiet person, but I felt the need to speak up. At one point, a Bernie supporter said something about how he believes in Bernie because he resonates with the people, and I followed up with the fact that I found it inspiring, that it was my first caucus. That I wasn’t qualified to speak to who has the best legislation, but that he was making an impact on my generation, and that was exciting.


I think the coolest part about the whole experience wasn’t only the lively discussion we all managed to have, but that at the end of it, we all agreed, Hillary supporter/Bernie supporter alike, that at the end of the day we all needed to rally behind and support whomever got the nominee.

At the end of the day, it ended up being a 51% Hillary, 49% Bernie split. Which means that we then elected 3 Bernie delegates, and 4 Hillary delegates to go on. (no, I was not interested in becoming a delegate).

Going to my caucus was pretty great though, because it really helped me feel connected to the whole process. It made me feel like my voice was being heard.  I’m really glad that I got up early on that Saturday.  Will I caucus every four years? I think it depends on who’s running. Am I glad that I experienced and did it for the first time? Of course!








One response

3 04 2016

I was delighted that you put a foot into national politics this year, that you followed up an intention to support Bernie’s quest for a win in the great State of Washington. It was predictable that Hillary would win in your precinct what with all the old ladies and Republicans pretending to be Democrats for this election because the thought of Trump drives them to distraction.

I wonder. Was there discussion of how the Democratic Party rigs the vote with so-called superdelegates whose vote is more important numerically than individual, elected delegates? Was there discussion about the fact that Washington State’s Democratic federal legislators, Cantwell, Murray, Larsen, DelBene and others, Hillary’s “pals” have enough sway with other superdelegates to deprive Bernie Sanders of the nomination?

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