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Washington’s a caucus state too…

January 19th, 2004 · No Comments

Eyes were on Iowa today but we here in Washington State have a caucus coming up too, Saturday February 7 at 10 am. I think I read that our state will be the 10th one in this process of 2004.

I had been thinking about blogging about this and I was grateful to see eclecticism’s informative post Washington Presidential Caucuses: Feb. 7th – copied from Live Journal Seattle Community

I also was glad to find this post via Seablogs explaining why we in Washington won’t have a primary: Alternatives to the Washington Primary

In 2000, Ted and I were not able to participate in the primary season. We moved from California before that state’s primary, but we arrived in Washington after the caucus. We’ve lived in other primary states, but I think this is the first time we’ve lived in a caucus state.

When I was in high school, growing up in WA, my mom and I went to the caucus. I think it was a homework assignment of sorts but I wanted to go anyway. Now I don’t usually get into politics, so I won’t get specific.

But what I want to describe is how personal the caucus was. I think we met in the high school cafeteria or something like it. It was a small group of people who lived in our neighborhood area, gathering together, pulling up chairs into a circle. If I remember correctly, I think that the group was fairly united in support for one particular candidate, and it also seemed to me that any one of us – well, not me since I wasn’t yet 18 – but any one could be the representative from our caucus to go to the next level. It seemed very fair, particpatory and democratic, at least to the teenage me.

Now that I’ve been a voter for a while, I appreciate how personal the caucus was. Instead of going into a booth and pulling a lever or punching a card, this involved meeting others in the community, discussing and talking through issues face to face. In my years of voting, I can’t remember how many times I’ve gotten to interact with people as part of the process. I liked the small group and the personal side to the politics. Instead of interacting with flyers and levers, pushing buttons and punching tickets, I got to chat with my neighbors. We were people, as in “We the people…”. The caucus created community and brought us together.

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