Widgets Magazine

Mar 16, 2012

Caucus Meetings

I don't know how things work where you live, but in Utah, March is the month for basketball tournaments and political caucus meetings. I had never been to one in my life (caucus, I mean)...until yesterday.  The leaders of our church have been concerned that not enough people are participating in the political process so they STRONGLY encouraged us all to get involved and attend either the Republican or the Democratic caucus meetings.  Both were held this week with record numbers.

The caucus meeting we attended started at 7:00 at our local middle school. It's about a mile from our house and my sweetie jokingly suggested that maybe we should just walk because we would never be able to find a parking place given the new emphasis on politics. But after we made the dance run, we really didn't have time to walk.

We loaded into our smallest vehicle (thinking it would be easier to park). The Dog Walker crawled in the back and folded his long legs up behind my seat. He was NOT excited to go, but his Government teacher offered extra credit...

We drove down the street and around the corner and cars were already filling up both sides of the main road. Walking would have definitely made sense, but we were almost late so we quickly parked and hoofed our way to the school. It was terribly crowded! Each district was put in a different room and we got the lunchroom.

After we signed in, we established a seat at one of the extremely uncomfortable tables and waited. I didn't really know what to expect but we have always been politically-minded at our house. Every year we collect the fliers from the various candidates and share them with the kids. Then the kids help us choose those who best represent all of our interests and then those of us who are old enough to vote cast a vote that represents the entire family. I figured we were doing basically the same thing at a caucus meeting.

After some initial business we got busy with the nominating. The Dog Walker wasn't at all sure what was going on and at one point he became the lone negative vote (out of 111 people) on some point of business. The chairman just smiled at him and moved on.

As our friends and neighbors started nominating people to become delegates for our group, the Dog Walker started squirming and suggesting names. Thank goodness we were on the back row! First he wanted to nominate his dad. I shot that idea down quickly. Then he picked another neighbor he thought might be good. I talked him out of that one right before they closed the nominations. My friend's wife was oh so grateful!

Then they passed out the first of many ballots so we could cast a vote. After the first round of voting, I let the Dog Walker run home. He had other homework to do and this meeting promised to be long and tedious. We had already been there an hour.

Almost two hours and 6 rounds of voting later, we were relieved to head out into the cool night air. We had to walk about three blocks to find our vehicle, so that gave us plenty of time to talk and review the process. It was hard not to feel like we had just wasted three hours of our lives. None of the people my sweetie voted for in the County round earned delegate honors and only one of mine did. It seems that those running the party would continue to run the party in our little corner of the world. And you know what?

That's OK by me. I was wishing I had run home with the Dog Walker.


Cynthia said...

It's not the most enjoyable meeting in the world for sure but 3 hours every 2 years (and it's usually only 1 hour- there were just so many candidates this year). Heck, I come home from Church and often feel I totally wasted 3 hours of my life! LOL! If only we could cut the 3 hour block down to once every 2 years!

I'm glad you went though. It's important to attend even whether or not the Church asks us to.

Arkansas Patti said...

I really like how you include your kids in the voting process by informing them and letting them pick a candidate. Perhaps part of the terrible voter apathy in our country is because most parents don't take the time.

LeAnn said...

I like that you went and then posted about it. I haven't ever been to one of these either. We forgot and went to the temple and then wondered why it was so slow there.
Blessings to you for going to this one!

momto8 said...

It is so good to go and vote!! and have your kids witness this whole event..good for you!


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