Just got back from the caucus and put the kids to bed. What a crazy scene. I must agree with the gentleman who patiently waited beside me in line to sign in who observed: "who knew there were this many Democrats?"
It was also suggested that this would be more orderly if the Republicans were running it.
The party (I guess) assigned four precincts to vote in a single location. That would have comfortably accommodated the normal primary/caucus turnout. But of course there was nothing normal about this year.
We started out at 7:00 with people crammed into the hallways waiting for the voting to end. We had to clear out so they could be sure everyone had voted first. While we were waiting we met some other nice folks who had brought their 19-month old. He thought our 3-year old was interesting.
So after waiting maybe 30 minutes we had to find the room for our precinct. There were so many folks there that we couldn't hear the instructions from the volunteers (who had the patience of Job by the way - kudos to them). So precinct 2209 filed into the gym. There had to be more than 100 of us by the time we all got in there. More instructions we couldn't hear. Then the order to form 4 lines.
Then we stood there like cattle for about 20 more minutes to sign in for our candidate. After you sign in you can leave, which we did as it was past bedtime. You are encouraged to stay however to vote for the actual delegates who will represent your candidate at the next meeting/caucus/convention/whatever they call it. But the initial sign in is what determines the split of the delegates so we had done our duty.
If you stay I think you also get to weigh in on resolutions and party platform stuff and get to have a group hug and sing kumbayah. I hope there are hundreds of resolutions suggesting that this process be improved (although I have to admit it was pretty cool to participate in).
Ran into friends after we had signed in that were having to caucus in the hallway. My oldest didn't even want me to make up a goofy story at bedtime. Just lullabies please.
Time to go watch the returns. I'm told that CNN is calling Ohio for Clinton and Vermont for Obama. I'm afraid it's going to be quite a while before we know the outcome of the Lone Star State, since our caucus delegates are apparently allowed to change their minds and if they don't show they can be replaced by a delegate from the opposing candidate. I don't think it's officially official until the state convention in June. But surely we'll have a candidate by then!
It felt good to cast a vote in this historic election. I'm fired up and ready to go. Go America! Viva Obama!