Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I am shocked. SHOCKED!

I went to vote this afternoon. First, I noticed that the people with signs and all that were actually standing at the appropriate distance. I waved to them and found the place to go. I stood in line and dealt with some idiocy with my name. I changed my last name with the DPS (Driver's License) and Social Security. But somehow they had my first name, middle name, married name rather than first name, maiden name, married name, as my driver's license and SS card say. ARGH! Of course, I had mislaid my voter registration card, so it was just my ID. Anyway, they decided that I was the right person (my address is the same).

I went and voted and walked out in less than 15 minutes and felt very good about participating in the political process. I really wished that I could have come back for the caucus, but we had important choir practices starting at 6:30 and the caucuses started at 7:15. I am totally fascinated by this because I must have been asleep in my poli sci class in college (I took a Nebraska government course in HS--unicameral legislature!). For those not familiar with TX politics, the basic idea is:
2/3 of the delegates are determined by the primary
1/3 of the delegates are determined by the caucus
your precinct polling place closes at 7 and reopens at 7:15 (assuming everyone is done by 7--as long as you're in line at 7, you get to vote)
you declare which candidate you are for, they count each group and determine how many delegates each candidates will get
then they make resolutions and such--this is where it gets fuzzy.
this is for the Democratic party, the Republican primary/caucus are slightly different

The title of this post comes from the observation that I made today. Rather than the regular system where everyone goes into one anonymous room, the parties are separated. (In this state you can vote in either primary as you choose as long as you don't vote in both) I noticed that the Republican side was like a ghost town. I think a saw a tumbleweed go by. The Democratic side had a line out the door. In my neighborhood. Shocking, I tell you! Shocking.

Okay, not. And I will say that there was probably a much lesser turnout for the Republicans in general, including my neighborhood. But I did still think it was funny. And predictable.


K in the Mirror said...

yeah, I didn't have to wait in line very long to vote. A couple people behind me were talking about how the lines at the democratic voting place were probably way longer.

I'm just proud of myself for getting out there- this is the first primary I've ever voted in. I still have the feeling that my vote doesn't really matter...

Alli said...

I'm really curious about the low repub turnout. I've noticed it in all the poll results. And I wonder why you said it was predictable...

Kate said...

K- I often have that feeling. I tell myself that I vote to add to the general number and the parties and whoever sees that people in my demographic are actually voting and maybe they'll pay attention to issues that I find important.


Alli, I suspected that the overall low turnout for Republicans was because the primary race wasn't highly contested. Or at least that's how it seemed. I expect the Republicans will be out in force again in November like usual.

As for my neighborhood, I suspected it was highly liberal/Democratic. Lots of young professionals and about 10 minutes from downtown. Sorry, I left those details out. Not that everyone is, but just that my precinct probably leans to the left more than the right.

And yay for us for being politically involved! =)