A friend convinced me to go to my local caucus yesterday, clarifying election procedures for me so I understood that caucus votes actually did matter (I really thought they didn’t). That friend, as an incentive, mentioned I could probably get a blog post out of it. I did, so here we go.
What was it like being at a caucus the first time? Imagine you’re at a party and people pull out a game to play. Only, no one there has ever played the game before. It’s friendly, and people are trying, but it’s really confusing. Imagine: Oh wait…we’re not supposed to turn those cards over until the end. Or: Jokers were wild as we thought, but it turns out that you get a fifty point penalty if they’re in your hand at the end of play. Or even: So we don’t pick jobs until we get to that space even though we have to decide at the beginning whether or not to pay for a college job as opposed to a non-college job? It’s not bad, it’s only that no one really understands the rules yet and they’re reading through trying to grasp everything while unpacking pieces from the little plastic pouches at the same time game play is going on.
Maybe other people didn’t have an experience like that. We had a lot of people at my caucus site and my precinct is pretty new. I believe the first house in the precinct didn’t go in until 2013. No one seemed to have done this kind of thing before. We were just sent to our precinct table where there was a packet including an instruction sheet, no one in charge overseeing us. A couple of people took the initiative to go through the packet and try to figure out what we were supposed to do, always evidencing willingness to take a backseat should anyone else want to step up. It all still got done, correctly no less, and stayed incredibly civil and respectful despite differing views on the candidates. I was kind of surprised, though our precinct only had 48 people voting.
Regardless, I stick by my party game analogy. The description seems apt.