Thursday, January 10, 2008
Your Vote Counts!
Last Thursday, after flying from SLC back to Iowa, I went to the Iowa Caucus. It was quite an interesting experience. I really didn't know how the process worked, but it is nothing like a regular election where you show up at your polling place sometime throughout the day, vote, and then you are out of there. Caucusing is nothing like that at all. Everyone shows up at your polling place at the same time. I was assigned to the Jr. high school and when I got there 15 minutes before 7 pm, the parking lot and side streets were packed! I had to park in the back of the school where the snow had not been plowed, I almost thought about going back home because it was a little bit frustrating and freezing, but thinking of my Cousin Daniel, who wanted a full report, I had to move forward. Once you get inside, there was a room designated for Republicans or Democrats. We all just sat in our room, but not in different areas for each campaign. I was handed a few pieces of scratch paper for voting purposes. After a representative from each campaign spoke for two minutes about why you should vote for that particular person, then we wrote down our vote and then the votes were counted. We never broke into the different groups and tried to persuade the people to vote for another person. They just took our votes and said they would call them in to the state caucus in Des Moines. Our precinct had 28 votes for Romney, 17 for Thompson, and 10 for Huckabee; the others didn't have the 15% of votes to move on. I am glad that I was able to have this experience. What is interesting about it is that it takes the anonymity out of the voting process. Typically you go in to your little booth, fill in your bubbles and walk away and nobody knows who you voted for. This is quite different because you stand in a room with all of your neighbors and everyone sees who everyone is supporting. Everyone had stickers, or met with a person that was in charge of a certain campaign within our precinct, so everyone knew who your support was for. After we were done, I wasn't stuck in the snow behind the school, and I gave my neighbors a ride home. Some would say that this was a pretty uneventful evening, but I was glad I experienced the Iowa Caucus....the beginning of the campaign for the 2008 Presidential election. Sorry Daniel, no pictures.