Today’s topic was supposed to talk about the joys of Spring, but since I attended my first caucus tonight, you get this instead…
Alright, Minnesota is weird. They caucus here… and I didn’t know what that meant until this evening when I walked into the local high school gym and saw 250 people actively participating in the political system. (I’ve previously lived in states that have primary elections with a simple check-the-box procedure.)
Before I go on, I’d just like to say that the concept of political party affiliation is a strange topic for me. I am currently registered as a Republican (so I attended their caucus this evening) but haven’t always been. In fact, I’m more likely to support a specific person than the team they play on. And while I did cast a vote this evening, I can’t say that I am overjoyed with recent campaign behavior, from either team. (Frankly, it makes me worry about the future, regardless of who wins the November election.) But I thought it was important to take part tonight, so I did. (Special thanks to my husband for staying at home with the girls so I could have this new experience!)
Luckily, in the sea of strangers, I found a familiar face; our lovely neighbor who has attended several of these events before and could explain what was happening. She mentioned that tonight’s attendance was five times greater than she’s ever seen before! Hooray for voter turnout!
In the end, the whole process wasn’t as chaotic as it looked. We all stood for the Pledge of Allegiance. The speaker read some letters from the front-running candidates, followed several steps of parliamentary procedure (call to order, elect a leader, elect a secretary, etc.), and then we were all given a small slip of paper with the candidates names on it. We cast our “straw ballots” which were collected in some guy’s old cowboy hat (I’m not even kidding) and counted on the stage at the front of the gym.
Curious about our little slice of the pie? Here are our small town’s results:
Donald Trump – 29.6% (74 votes)
Ted Cruz – 29.2% (73 votes)
Marco Rubio – 26.4% (66 votes)
Ben Carson – 9.2% (23 votes)
John Kasich – 5.6% (14 votes)
This portion of the evening took about an hour, at which point, half of the people cleared out (myself included) and the real die-hards stayed on to elect representatives and alternatives who will attend the county caucus next week. My understanding is that from there, a smaller number then head to regional and then state-level meetings. It all sounded a bit too time-consuming for my current schedule, so I returned home in time to tuck the girls into bed.
What does your local political process look like? Share a comment.
~ Phoebe DeCook
(P.S. If you missed my introduction to these daily “Musings”, you can read from the beginning here.)