February 28, 2012
Caucus meetings are worth the time
Republican caucuses will be held March 3 across the state, including here in Issaquah. It does matter.
There will be no presidential primary in Washington this year. Legislators decided to save the $10 million expense. Now it’s up to you to take action, but it will take more than an armchair vote and a stamp. Democrats will caucus April 15.
Four years ago, fewer than 100,000 people participated in state caucuses, but 1.4 million voters cast ballots in the primary. With only the caucus in play, the turnout is expected to double.
Registered voters willing to attend their grouped-precinct caucus will have to sign a card declaring that they do consider themselves to be a Republican before being allowed to vote for their choice for Republican Party nominee for U.S. president.
The best part of a caucus meeting is the conversation among the participants. It’s an opportunity to meet like-minded people who are your neighbors, but it is also a time to be open minded as you listen and learn from the discussions about the various candidates and their platforms. There is no need to voice your own opinion, but the opportunity is there if you choose to share your passion for one candidate over another.
The outcome of the caucus vote is more of a straw poll than a mandate. It will give delegates to the Republican National Convention an indicator of whom to support when the vote actually decides who the party nominee will be.
If attending the national caucus is your interest, the precinct caucus gathering could be the beginning of your quest. Delegates to the county convention are elected, and those delegates in turn elect delegates to the state convention and so on.
The caucus is also a good place to find out how to get involved by helping to put up signs, work telephone banks, help with mailings, ring doorbells or make a monetary donation.
Registration begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, with the meeting to begin at 10. Crowds are expected to be large, so arrive early. Call 990-0404 for caucus sites, or go to www.kcgop.org/caucus-locator.