It was a strange day to say the least. Months earlier, I decide to change my party affiliation from Democrat to Republican just so I could help Ron Paul get the Republican nomination. Not only did I to change my affiliation, but my boyfriend, Dutch, decided he too would join the ranks of the “Paulbots”.
I received my voter registration card a month before the election, but Dutch did not receive his. Thinking it was to come in the mail later we did not think anything of it because we both filled out and mailed our cards on the same day.
I did not preregister. This was my first Republican Caucus. Though I did not preregister my name was still on the Republican roster. Yay! Dutch was not. For some reason his registration was lost. I found out my precinct on the internet (my precinct 1617, the caucus location was at Durango High School, 7100 W. Dewey Dr.) and Dutch drove me there, but my name wasn’t on the list!
I had to go inside to a special area to find my name. Line A-D… still 🙁 not on the list. Then I had to talk to a women who looked like she had something better to do. I gave her my ID and she wrote down my name. She called someone to verify (I thought they would at least have a computer). She hung up the phone and stared into space. She tried again. Nothing, she didn’t even make eye contact. Another voter was having a similar problem. I asked her if it was easier for me to go home and bring a print out. She looked at me with wide eyes and said “Yes.”
I hopped in my car and I was off to print out proof of my registration. With the printout in hand, I came back to the caucus. By this time about 30 minutes or more had passed. I showed my printout to some volunteers and they told me it was the wrong piece of paper. Frustrated, I asked them to double check… this time I even brought my voter registration card. Still no luck, I had to go back to the site manager only to be told I had to wait. By this time it looked like the delegates were finishing up. I was still ignored. She didn’t even give me any eye contact as I stood and waited. Finally another volunteer offered to help, and the site manager just yelled at her and said she was busy and that I had to wait. So I sat. I waited. New lines where forming to donate to candidates. Cash or Check signs posted and it looked like the delegates were already voted on. I sat and watched as people threw around money. I still don’t understand what they were doing. I decided to leave, because I wasn’t being helped at all. Afterwards I really felt sick about the process. I woke up extra early to be a part of this and I did not get any help. None of the volunteers knew what was going on. The site manager was very disorganized and rude. I think High School elections are more organized. At one point she was yelling at a volunteer to get an envelope that she had.
The caucus was negative and I felt like they did not care about my vote. It was like I walked into a secret club. It makes me wonder if I’d dressed up for it, maybe I would have been treated better? Maybe I looked too Democrat?
Disappointed, I went home. Later on that night I got a call from one of Ron Paul’s supporters telling me of a special Caucas being held at 6pm. I decided to try again. This time there was a huge turnout! They couldn’t cheat me out of my vote. The bad news was no one could vote for any delegates. While waiting in line a bunch of news sources claimed Mitt Romney the winner already. It was a circus. Once we all finally got into the conference room it was packed and most of the folks there were Ron Paul supporters. I met five people who sat directly behind me who experienced what I did earlier.
What we had to sign in order to vote.
The Declaration of Participation (below). After standing in line for over an hour, each voter had to sign the Declaration of Participation. Many people who did not qualify were turned away because this special caucus was meant for people who could not attend the morning caucuses due to their religion. I still do not understand why, because hardly anyone there was an orthodox Jew. The place where we held the vote was a private Jewish school, Adelson Educational Campus.
Here are some videos I took at the caucus. Sorry for the poor audio.
We need to make the voting process easier so we are not intimated with voting. It is our right. There are many people who think that they don’t matter, but the reality is we all do. Regardless of a voter’s skill level, we are all responsible for the future of America. I say this because I read criticism regarding the voters like “idiots shouldn’t vote” or “voters should be required to take a test”. It is a shame so many people stay home because of fear. The Constitution begins with “We the People” not “We the smartest People” or “We the Elitist” or “We the Republicans” or “We the Democrats” . WE THE PEOPLE need to change America one vote at a time.