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Thursday, April 10, 2008

UnRock the Vote

posted by on April 10 at 17:54 PM

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.

RSS icon Comments


Good plan Democrats! Exclude those you need to win...

Posted by Rock on | April 10, 2008 6:23 PM

Never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.

Posted by Fnarf | April 10, 2008 6:44 PM

Ummm, I think you're being naive Josh.

The Dem rules, which are national in nature, clearly provide that as long as you will be 18 by Nov you can be a delegate at any level. Indeed, even Kitsap County's website provides this where it states:

"Who can attend? Caucuses are public meetings and anyone may attend. Those who are 1) registered voters in the precinct, or who will be old enough to vote in the 2008 Presidential Election (will be 18 by November 4, 2008); and 2) are willing publicly indicate they are Democrats (i.e., sign in) may vote and be elected as delegates. If you are not registered you may do so at the Caucus."

So it's either absolute incompetence or attempted voter disenfranchisement. And I'm just not sure, based on what we've seen from the Hillary camp, why you discount the disenfranchisement angle.

Posted by Mike in Iowa | April 10, 2008 8:04 PM

. . . ESPECIALLY if there are Democrats involved.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | April 10, 2008 8:04 PM

wouldn't that be "anti-obama" conspiracy theory?

Posted by cochise. | April 10, 2008 8:38 PM

@3 comment indicates we need a bit more reporting here and a bit less assuming.

side note: the whole nominating system is a hodgepodge of disenfranchisement and arbitrary differences in voting power -- MI and FL excluded, NH given special powers due to early voting, how delegates are allocated unequally among states and not by the same ratio of voters to delegates....allocations among cong.'s like the corrupt 18th c. british parliament or something.

Posted by unPC | April 10, 2008 9:39 PM

As the tipster (and not necessarily a conspiracy theorist) I had to include this response from Dwight Pelz regarding the letter.

The original section read "If you were 17 years of age and will be eligible to vote in the November 4 2008 general election, we ask that you bring a driver's license or other ID, which verifies your age.

As you were not properly registered to represent your precinct ..."

Dwights response, The portion in {} is what Dwight added that was not in the original letter:

John, I believe you have simply misread this letter, which could be slightly clearer.

Paragraph One informs a delegate that he or she was not eligible to vote on Feb 9, and therefore you cannot be a delegate. What the paragraph does not say is that the Credentials Committe checked with the Auditor, and allowed any delegates who registered ON February 9 to be included.

If you edit Paragraph Two to read, "{However}, if you were 17 years of age and will be eligible to vote in the November 4, 2008 general election {you will be able to serve as a delegate,} we {simply} ask that you bring a driver's license or other ID, which verifies your age.

Paragraph Three is consistent with Paragraph Two.

Re-read the letter as: Paragraph One followed by Paragraph Three followed by Edited Paragraph Two and I believe you will see that the Credentials Committee is treating this person correctly.

Dwight Pelz

Chair, Washington State Democratic Party

Posted by Tipster | April 10, 2008 9:56 PM

If anyone can follow the preceding post, or the bizarre rules the Dems create, I salute you! What a stupid mess.

Meanwhile, please do not read about the AP IPSOS poll kept secret on this site, in which "Candidate XY"'s former 10-point advantage in a head-to-head matchup against McCain has disappeared. (Candidate XY last Feb. lead McCain 51-41 but now they are tied, and McCain leads Candidate XY among independents).

Candidate XY's vastly superior drawing power among independents and his ten point lead over McCain has gone, "poof!" Shhhh!!

Meanwhile Candidate 'XX' led McCain in February -- and leads McCain still, in the latest AP IPOS poll. Steady, solid; a known stock; not inflated in a stock-bubble like fashion; not subject to going "poof!"; supporters didn't overpromise the way Candidate XY supporters did seeing XY as the Second Coming. All as foretold.

And a quarter of XY's supporters will defect whereas a third of XX's supporters will defect -- oh oh. This actually shows that among folks who might vote Republican, candidate XX actually has greater unifying and greater drawing power. Totally contrary to the big fairy tales about XY spread around with no basis just last January! Imagine that -- it's XX who draws more folks who might vote GOP.

Please do not publicize or talk about this information. Really, no one likes to admit being wrong.

And Candidate XY supporters are fine people, with deep liberal values; as the candidate is defined more and more to be a liberal, they actually like this candidate more, although the former premise of their support evaporates.

It's important to hate a candidate you do not support, too (you know, we always hate the one we hurt) so all polls selectively picked to show Candidate XY is doing better here or there are still appreciated.

Posted by unPC | April 11, 2008 6:57 AM

upPC, characterizing candidates by their chromosomes? Cute.

If NH has "special powers" why isn't Hillary winning? Are you saying that if NH didn't have "special powers" that Hillary would be even further behind? I swear you don't even read what you're writing sometimes.

Anyone claiming they are going to "defect" is probably just blowing hot air. Polls this early are complete bullshit. Just look at any poll from this stage in 2004, even as late as summer 2004, that shows Kerry beating Bush by over 5 points.

Aside from that, trying to use a general election poll from early spring as an argument for why a political party should choose a certain candidate is fucking absurd. The only polls I'm interested in this early are favorability polls, and polls about how well voters think the candidates will handle certain issues like the war or the economy, the combine that with how voters rank the issues by importance. This seems like a more insightful predictor than just making people guess about how they will vote this early.

Posted by w7ngman | April 11, 2008 10:15 AM

unPC still believes his 19 percent deadenders have a chance in heck come Nov 08.

News flash: not going to happen.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 11, 2008 11:58 AM

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