Thursday, March 6, 2008

Visible Democracy

What a day and nght Tuesday was for those of us in Texas voting in the Democratic primary. My local voting location covered five precincts and in the last primary only 100 people showed up. This year about 5,000 voted and about 3,000 showed up for the caucus. The voting then caucus thing is uniquely Texan and I hope they do away with it by the time the next primary occurs. My voting place was so overwhelmed that the last voter finished voting at about an hour and a half after the polls closed. The rule is, if you are in line when the official poll closing time occurs, you get to vote because you were on time.

About a half hour after the polls close and the official election folk have locked up the results then the caucus can occur. We didn't even get into the building until about 9:00 pm, TWO HOURS after the polls had closed. Five tables, one for each precinct, had been set up with about 8 chairs at each table. My precinct had about 500 people for that one table. The poor organizers had to quickly find space for everyone. In the end, the pastor at the church where this was all going on, had to be called in to open the sanctuary so two of the precincts could meet in there while the other three met in the community center.

I finally left at about 10:00 pm as I was dead on my feet but the actual caucus didn't finish until about 11.

I was immensely proud of the passion people showed in trying to vote in both the primary and the caucus. I may not have agreed with their choices but it was wonderful to see so many different people making the effort.... the elderly bikers, the elegant house wives, the weary business people, the scruffy house builders, my doctor, the cashier I like from the grocery store .... all were there to have their voice heard and vote counted. I was especially glad to see a number of children there. I wonder what they reported to their classmates the next day?

Anyway, here's to democracy - flawed, fractured and imperfect as it may be I wouldn't have it any other way. Besides, who wants to stay home and watch re-reuns while history is being made?

BTW - this is my 200th post. I have been mulling over what to say at such a milesone but all my high-handed snooty thoughts vanished when I realized that visible democracy is the most approproate. Now go out and support your presidential candiate and vote in November!

1 comment:

mamalife said...

And Florida is thinking of having a re-vote. We are such a joke, it is truly embarrassing!