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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Busy Signals, Full Voice Mail, and the Unregistered Catch-22

posted by on February 7 at 13:30 PM

The state Republican party is barely even trying to make it easy for Republicans to find their caucus locations online. The only online caucus locater they have is for liberal King CountyŚwhere there are what, six Republicans?

On the Democratic side, the state party is a bit ahead of Republicans in the online game, offering a state-wide caucus locater for its members. But here’s the thing: It only works if you’re already registered to vote, as this person who just emailed me recently found out:

I went to this site: http://www.wa-democrats.org/caucusfinder but it does me little good as I have yet to register as a voter (I recently moved here) ….

Good point. If you’re currently unregistered, it’s perfectly fine to plan on registering to vote at your caucus site on Saturday. But how do you know where your caucus site is if you can’t find out online because you’re not registered yet? See the Catch-22?

The 41st District Democrats have tried to get around this problem with their own online locater, made using GoogleMaps. If you’re caught in the unregistered Catch-22, try that.

Or, you could try what my emailer did and call the State Dems. But…

So I called the number for Dems listed at the end of the “How to caucus article” to find out where to to go on Saturday and received a recording informing me that the mailbox was full.

That sucks.

I’m feeling a bit shut out of my democratic process at the moment and I’m betting a bunch of other people are as well.

Care to use your journalistic powers to rectify the situation?

Well, I tried to use my powers to have my intern call the State Dems about this. But he reports that the party’s phone line has been busy and the caucus hotline… is going straight to voice mail.

So I’m left with the power of the Slog… Attention “record turnout”-predicting State Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz: You might want to get some more people answering your phones, and offer some online help for people caught in the unregistered Catch-22.

RSS icon Comments

1

I'm thinking that I'm going to caucus for Kucinich on Saturday, if I go. Not that I support his presidential bid, but I think that it would be funny to get Clinton and Obama supporters fighting over me.

Posted by bma | February 7, 2008 1:28 PM
2

This is probably to be expected, since up until a month or so ago we all had no idea that there would still be a contest for the nomination by the time it got to us.

Posted by boxofbirds | February 7, 2008 1:37 PM
3

There are more than six Republicans in King County. I know this because there are 6 in my Precinct in Fremont, and I know when they vote (as Dem PCO, it's public record).

You could vote Kucinich in the Primary and vote Obama in the Caucus, you know ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 7, 2008 1:37 PM
4

Another caucus finder at Obama's site (you don't have to fill out the personal information, just the street/city/zip, and you certainly don't have to be an Obama supporter): [thanks Andy Niable]

http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/wacaucuscenter

Another one, a little harder to figure out; just zoom in and click on your house (it will try to guess, but will be wrong), and the precinct and site will appear at the top [thanks mks & Roger Crew]:
http://wa-demchairs.org/2008/caucuslocations.php

I still like the 41dems.org one best, but they were down last night....

Posted by Fnarf | February 7, 2008 1:45 PM
5

Typical of the level of competence within the WA St. and KC Dem party organs. I stopped giving both of them money this year after watching years of bumbling. The last straw was failing to run a candidate against Hauge...

Don't waste your contributions on those worthless middlemen -- give your money *directly* to campaigns and issues you want to support.

Posted by Party Hacks Suck | February 7, 2008 1:48 PM
6

Try this:

Step 1: Find your precinct using the MetroKC list of street-level precinct maps:

http://www.metrokc.gov/elections/gis/city.asp

Posted by elenchos | February 7, 2008 1:48 PM
7

The only problem with the Obama one is that it gives me a different location than the wa-democrats one.

Posted by Mike of Renton | February 7, 2008 1:48 PM
8

Just type in your next door neighbor's name/address. Chances are he/she is registered to vote and the location will be the same.

Posted by Polka Party | February 7, 2008 1:48 PM
9

Step 2:

Go to your district web site and find their list of caucus locations. In the 36th it is

http://36th.org/files/36th%20District%20caucus%20by%20precinct.pdf

So if you live at Hattie's Hat, you're in the 36th, and you're in the 1317th precinct. Which means you caucus at Oddfellows Hall, 1706 NW Market.

Give me an address. I'll give you a caucus site.

Posted by elenchos | February 7, 2008 1:52 PM
10

I could have sworn that last time I got a mailing telling me where to go. Is this clusterfuck due to the primary bullshit?

Posted by keshmeshi | February 7, 2008 1:54 PM
11
Posted by w7ngman | February 7, 2008 1:58 PM
12

Sweet! My caucus site is two blocks from my house. I play basketball there all the time.

Democracy is convenient!

Posted by povertyrich | February 7, 2008 2:02 PM
13

It's mind boggling they can't just take google maps of the whole fucking state and superimpose the precinct maps on topa.

Then have A LIST of locations for each named, or numbered, precinct.

Isntead of tools that don'w work and crash and rquire you to be registered.

PS--have you seen the Demo Party instructions for caucus organizers?

It says be prepared to endure till 4:30 pm !!!!!


There's ten pages of instructions and rules.

What a stupid waste of time.

BTW Obama just said he's open to a re-vote on FL or MI.

A nice bow of the head to the "enfranchisement" principle.

Guess the state govts. would have to pony up the $10 mill each for the cost, though.

And he's still refusing to debate Clinton -- what's up with that?

She wants weekly, he says just one more.

1 debate?

This is who we think can crush the GOP? A scaredypants who's afraid to debate?
I hate filling out forms and I like maps.

Posted by unPC | February 7, 2008 2:08 PM
14

@unPC

There've been like 17 debates so far, and Barack is comfortable with how his campaign is going. Why waste time on lots more debates? Asking for more debates is an underdog tactic, and a way to get free air time for a broke campaign.

Posted by NaFun | February 7, 2008 2:22 PM
15

@13 - stop whining - it could be worse. We have to prepare for hours, you can just sign and leave shortly after 1 pm when the official welcome is done.

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 7, 2008 2:43 PM
16

Hillary refused to debate on Fox as long as it was to her advantage. NOW when she wants to pretend she's chasing Obama, all of a sudden she is willing to go on GOP-TV? All of a sudden Roger Ailes' TV is not a problem for her? Once again, Hillary is self serving and disingenuous.

Pick another network, then complain.

Posted by elenchos | February 7, 2008 2:45 PM
17

I'm the only Slog commenter with elephants and giraffes and sloths in his or her precinct, I'll bet.

Posted by Fnarf | February 7, 2008 2:52 PM
18

UnPC @ 13 says:

It's mind boggling they can't just take google maps of the whole fucking state and superimpose the precinct maps on topa.

Well, that's exactly what we did do, and we did it months ago. Thousands of people are finding their caucuses this way. So sorry you're still having trouble -- NOT!

Posted by ivan | February 7, 2008 3:07 PM
19

Hey, I bitched about this almost a month ago. Hello? Anyone home?

Posted by dw | February 7, 2008 3:15 PM
20

Seriously, the sad thing is that this state is way better off due to a bunch of Dems who've been trying to get as much online as possible ... it's way worse in other caucus states.

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 7, 2008 3:16 PM
21

And if you need to find you caucus, I highly recommend the 46th Dems' point-and-click Google Maps mashup.

Could someone give the web servers some coke or meth or something? They are poky today.

Posted by dw | February 7, 2008 3:17 PM
22

Could they have put me a little closer than a mile away from my apartment building? Idiots.

Posted by keshmeshi | February 7, 2008 3:43 PM
23

And I strongly urge folks who think they know where their caucus site is to recheck.

My caucus site has been at BF Day School since christ was a child and as recently as last week was still listed as my caucus location. But given all the brouhaha here I checked again and my site is now at some Buddist (sic) Center.

Posted by gnossos | February 7, 2008 3:50 PM
24

gnossos, if you're in 43-3262 or 43-1354, you're back at B.F. Day. Last minute changes, but that's now a definite.

Posted by N in Seattle | February 7, 2008 5:18 PM
25

NiS: I'm in 43-1347, which as of today is still at Nalanda (and a much longer walk from my house...oh well, exercise is good).

Just hoping it's still there come Saturday.

Posted by gnossos | February 7, 2008 7:01 PM
26

oh shit.

According to this site:

http://wa-demchairs.org/2008/caucuslocations.php

43-1347 meets at BF Day

According to the Excel file at 43rd District Dems it's at Nalanda.

Luckily BF day is on my way to Nalanda. Guess I'll leave lots of time to spare.

Posted by gnossos | February 7, 2008 7:23 PM
27

I called yesterday at a little before noon and a very nice woman helped me find my precinct and caucus location (I recently moved too).

Perhaps you should try to call during business hours if you haven't already. Good luck!

Posted by V | February 7, 2008 7:57 PM
28

Also, the Obama campaign website has a tool for finding your caucus location, but as far as I can tell, it uses the information from the Dems' website. Good for a double-check, though:

http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/wacaucuscenter

Posted by V | February 7, 2008 8:02 PM
29

Yep I checked that site also...it's the same info as Wa dems.

Of four sites I've checked, two say one location and two say the other.

I called the hotline...

Posted by gnossos | February 7, 2008 8:11 PM

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