Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I Caucused, Did You?

Hi I'm Katherine and last night I attended my first political caucus! Have you ever attended your local caucus? This event was an adventure for me and below I document my journey.

I voted, did you?
This journey started as I arrived at the local school that was hosting the caucus. Traffic was outrageous and I was lucky enough to find a place to (illegally) park my car. I then hurried into the school to see what the fuss was about.

I arrived into the school to see mass confusion. It was complicated to find out where to go for your local precinct and how to register to vote amidst the overly crowded hallways.

After twenty minutes I was finally able to figure out the complicated system and make it to where I belonged. Once in the designated classroom I realized that I had missed most of the opening remarks. Ballots were cast on small paper slips that were then collected by people picked out from the crowd minutes before.  

Why are our local political processes so archaic despite the technology we benefit from in the 21st century?

Last night I experienced mass chaos as I tried to participate in the local political process for the first time. The event was overcrowded and there was not enough information, either in the form of people or printed information, to allow participants to easily figure out the system. This poor planning was frustrating and could be enough to deter voters from participating again in the future. The process of casting votes was old-fashioned and left much room for people to skew the vote in the way they desire. For example, it would have been easy for me to cast my own vote 20+ times by simply taking more sheets of paper. This process needs to be reformed. Technology should be integrated into this process to ensure efficiency and accuracy.

Communication within the local precinct was also lacking last night. The former president stood up and announced that she did not run again but she would if she needed to. She firmly stated her beliefs, including who she would vote for. Only one other man was nominated to run for president. As he stood up he mentioned that he had previously been a precinct president, though when asked where he stated, "Oh gosh, I can't remember... It was 10 years ago." When asked about his views on common core he also shrugged that off and mentioned, "I have mixed emotions about it," yet didn't mention any of his feelings on the subject. This pattern continued throughout the night, of few people wanting to run and very vague statements when asked about their opinions. Overall, communication on a local level was struggling and greatly needs to improve.

Implications: Governmental Power in the United States

The power of the US government is increasing whether we like it or not. Ultimately the government will pass laws that will affect our everyday life. These laws will affect how businesses are to be run and ripple effects will be seen in our fields of employment. We can either choose to be a part of the political process and make our voice and opinions matter or we can choose to be silent during the time our opinion will be able to make change occur. Many people today complain about the government yet how many of those complaining actively participate in the political process?


  1. I agree that it was pretty chaotic. And you bring up a good point - why is the process still so archaic? I wonder if it's because the caucus was run by volunteers and they just had to figure out a way to get things done on their own.

  2. The point you make about votes being skewed were my thoughts exactly. It could've been SO easy for someone to grab a handful of ballots check them all off and put them in the ballot box. I really hope the next time they do it, the volunteers or whoever might be in charge will have a more efficient and safe way of collecting honest ballots.

  3. Very interesting! I think that part of the reason there's so little political involvement among voters these days is that we are trying to use archaic processes in a modern world. I was wondering about that as part of my topic, and this helps flesh it out!

  4. YES! I read this post after I wrote my own and it mirrors my thoughts to a T. The caucuses last night were SO unorganized and unprofessional. I was actually pretty shocked to see the extent of the mess.