2008 UnRock the Vote
posted by April 10 at 17:54 PMon
In advance of their April 12 legislative district caucuses—the thing we had last weekend—the Kitsap County Democrats sent out a letter to all the delegates who were elected at the precinct level who still aren’t registered voters.
The letter stated:
“As you were not properly registered to represent your precinct as outlined in Washington State Democratic Party Delegate Selection Rules, you are ineligible to so serve, and will not be seated as a delegate or alternate at your legislative district caucus and county convention.”
The majority of people who received this intimidating letter were most likely 17-year-olds. You’re allowed to caucus (and be a delegate) as a 17-year-old if you’ll be 18 by the election.
In fact, the Democrats encourage 17-year-old to participate in caucuses as part of their guidelines to put together a diverse pool of delegates.
However, despite the Dems push to get young folks involved, the rules about whether or not people who fit this bill can run as delegates before they’re registered isn’t as clear. Obviously, if people got elected to the LD level without registering (which clearly happened, given that they got these letters) than it was permitted at the precinct level—or an exception was made … or it was an oversight.
Perhaps the exception won’t be made at the Kitsap County level. So, in one sense, this stern reminder to register could be helpful to keep young people in the process. However, it’s a little too stern, and may scare off young people trying to get involved.
I don’t sign off on the anti-Hillary conspiracy theory that came along with the tipster who sent us the letter, though.
They wrote: “When did the Democratic Party get in the business of excluding young people? Is it because they tend to support Obama?”
Puh-lease! 1) Obama cleaned up the caucuses in Washington (70 to 29 in Kitsap). If young people don’t show up, it’s not going siphon delegatess from Obama (at least not judging from the number of precinct dels at my LD caucus who tried to go to the next level.) And 2) Obama fans need to get over the “narrative” that Clinton’s still got the big powerful Democratic establishment backing.
However, props to the Kitsap tipster for looking out for potential young delegates. At my LD caucus I was proud to vote a straight youngster Hillary slate … and yes, there were a ton of young ones—even a 17-year-old—in the Hils camp.