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Barrett Manor

Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Back from the caucus

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett


For those following along with what's going on in Texas, you may have seen tales of huge voter turnouts today,. This is cool. Voter turnout - at least where I live - has been at downright anemic levels over the last few years. Whatever the outcome, I'm happy to see people participating.

I was doubly happy to see that Chris wanted to go the caucus. We got down there and had to drive around a bit to find a space. Our precint met in the cafeteria, and we joined a line to get in that snaked down the hall. They finally let people in about 7:30 and as we got seated they told us that there were still people voting. Everyone in line at 7:00 was allowed to vote, and I have no idea if anyone was turned away. People kept trickling in and finally they decided to go ahead and let people sign the rolls to declare their candidates. By that time I think there must have been about 150 people in the room. Certainly all of the cafeteria tables were full and people were sitting on the stage and leaning against the walls.

We were split in two lines - one for each of the major candidates. It took another hour or so to get through the line. The workers were very careful to verify everyone's documentation. The certificates we had today were in lieu of voter registration certificates. I didn't even think to take mine because I've always just used my license as ID. I never went to the Republican meetings anyway.

There have been reports of irregularities. The Clinton camp has charged that the Obama camp has resorted to dirty tactics in some precincts - locking Clinton supporters out of caucus meetings and taking charge of paperwork. Of the four precints the Clinton campaign has named, the Dallas Morning News reports that one does not appear to exist. It could be a typo on the part of the Clinton camp.

Clinton has pulled ahead of Obama in the popular vote, but at this point many of the urban areas have yet to report. I saw a place in North Dallas that was running voters through until 9:00 tonight. Presumably they were all at the polling place by 7. There were reports of late surges of voters all over the area. A lot of reports of someone dropping off their spouse, going to find a parking space, and getting to the polling place just after the 7:00 cut-off.

We have this bizarre "two-step" system for allocating Democratic convention delegates. I read yesterday that Bill Clinton had a hand in devising this system. Perhaps it helped push him into office, but may work against Hillary Clinton. The pundits are predicting that Clinton may eke out the popular vote, but the majority of the caucus delegates (1/3 of the total) could very well go to Obama.

Clinton has pulled ahead by about 50K votes, 50-48%. 52% of the precincts are now reporting. I'm taking a look at our Very Red County results. With 91% in, it's 57% Obama, 42% Clinton. also 48% McCain and 41% Huckabee. That's kind of interesting.

Well, I do agree with Obama on one thing: We may not know about the final Texas count until morning. It's that close. Time for me to go to bed.

Oh, I did take some pictures tonight, but they'll have to wait.

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Filed under: Election            
3/4/2008 10:48:38 PM
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