Postman on Politics
Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.
February 9, 2008 3:58 PM
Posted by David Postman
Reports are coming in from caucus-goers. This is from Kirk Godtfredsen:
Just a word from our Bainbridge Island Democratic caucus - I live on the north end of the island and we caucused at Sakai Intermediate School. The traffic was amazing getting there (I biked, what luck) - it was backed up along all the arterials, worst than the normal backups during the morning ferry runs. The line just to enter the building took a good 20 minutes, we really didn't get started until 1:45 as people kept on coming. There was no checking of voting credentials, just name, address and preference - republicans could have stuffed the ballot box without anyone knowing...It was actually a pretty bad place to have the caucus, we were in the gym and it was packed, so it was very hard to hear what anyone was saying. I heard many folks complain about not just being able to vote in the primary, especially as they asked for funds to defer the "amazing costs of running a caucus" about 5 times (couldn't they have just used the ballot that's sitting on my kitchen counter?)
Anyway, Obama won our precinct, 6 delegates for O, 1 for Clinton, 1 undecided. Not any movement from the beginning tally. I heard from the other precincts it was pretty much Obama in a big way too -
And Jonathan J. Lee, a second year student at Seattle University School of Law, sent this from Bellevue:
The caucuses just finished up in the Lake Hills region in Bellevue. The final tally was 38 delegates to go to Obama for the 41st leg district convention. Hillary got 13. It was an unprecedented number of attendees at Lake Hills elementary. From the people I talked to, many were dumbfounded at the number of Obama supporters. A lot thought that Bellevue would be Hillary Country but proved to be otherwise. For a stereotypical white area that Bellevue is made out to be, the caucus was surprisingly diverse. There were many first time voters, some bringing along their children, some newly minted citizens. One thing was for sure though, there was a definite sense of excitement and electricity in the air. Probably due to the demographics of the area but the young voter turnout was very low (less than 1 in 10 it seemed). There were a high number of senior citizens (60+) that attended (over 50%).
And about an hour ago, the caucus in Everett was still going on, according to reporter Diane Brooks.
"Democracy is a messy process," said veteran caucus-goer Bruce Eklund, as his Northwest Everett neighborhood gathering dragged on toward 3 p.m.
Four years ago, when Ecklund was elected as a delegate for Dennis Kucinich, about 20 of his neighbors showed up. This time, 56 people, including a pair of high school students, turned out.
"It's chaotic when there's new people, " said Ecklund, who heads a non-profit affordable-housing program based in Everett. "It's not clean. It's not easy.'
Ecklund who has previously attended a half-dozen caucuses, was part of a mass of caucus goers from 120 different precincts jammed into the Everett Civic Auditorium. The groups split off into nearby locales, with 16 precincts sent to the cafeteria at Everett High School.
Ecklund's precinct eventually elected four Obama delegates, two Clinton delegates and one uncommitted.
Other NW Everett neighborhoods -- a mix of professional and middle-class families that is traditionally a Democratic stronghold -- reported similar victories for Obama.
Among the 11 precinct voters were Carly Shue, 17, and her best friend Nichole Miller. Both girls came to the caucus uncommitted, but eventually Miller, 18, switched her vote to Obama.
"My boyfriend is in the military. He's going to Iraq in five months for his second trip," Miller said. "And I don't support the war. I just want everyone to come back from Iraq."
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